NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Creating Conducive Environment For Investment In The Blue Economy Project; Inaugurate Standing Committee

,By Stephen Ubanna 

The performance of the revived  Operation Water Guard, OWG, by   Western Naval Command,  of  the Nigerian Navy,  under the close watch of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, in detecting  VIP Premium illegal  Motor Spirit, MS, popular, Petrol depots at  Iyaafin and Itsalu  Communities and its environs  within the Badagry Inland area  and adjoining Creeks  along the Nigeria – Benin Republic Boundary appears to have encouraged Bashir Jamoh, OFR, Director General,  Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and Mustapha Hassan, Flag Officer, FOC,  of the western Naval Command  to inaugurate the eight-man standing  Committee set up for the Blue  Economy  project.

In inaugurating the Committee, Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director General, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he disclosed   that it is to find ways in which the synergy between the two organs of government can be channelled into ‘’creating a conducive environment for investment in the nation’s blue economy model’’ as obtained in other maritime nations that have adopted the blue economy model.

A statement issued by Edward Osagie, an Assistant Director and Head of the Maritime Regulatory agency, Public Relations unit, indicates that the Committee members who were drawn from the two agencies include Rear Admiral Hassan, Commodore K.O. Oguntuga, Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore N.S. Kaman and COO, Western Naval Command from the Navy.

Jamoh, DG, NIMASA, Rear Admiral Hassan, FOC, Western nAVAL Command & others

The NIMASA staff that are said to be representing the agency in the standing Committee for the blue economy model in Nigeria, according to the NIMASA spokesperson were Otonye Obom, Director, Deep Blue Project, Kurhson Inuwa, Head, ISPS, Isa Mudi and Hajia Aisha Usman Dangote, Deputy Director, Cabotage services.

Many believe that the inauguration of the eight-man standing Committee for the blue economy project, would embolden Rear Admiral Hassan, the FOC, Western Naval Command and who incidentally is a member of the Committee and who had asked the NIMASA Management to extend the same non-kinetic support to the Command water patrol teams to the OWG, to combat smuggling around the Badagry channel to effectively provide the needed security for the blue economy to thrive.

Commodore O.A. Akinbami,  Commander Deep Blue,  who  had accompanied Rear Admiral Hassan,  FOC, Western Naval Command to the Launching of the Constitution  of the Committee at NIMASA, early November , may have corroborated what the Flag officer had said  when he revealed  that the 17 interception Boats, used for coastal patrol, 16 armoured vehicles, and two Special Mission Vessels  security assets belonging to the agency  operated and maintained by the Navy to contain the activities of Pirates, sea robbers and other violent crimes in Nigerian waters and the Gulf   of Guinea are still functional, meaning that OWG, would need such equipment.

Given that OWG, personnel would need information from the agency to operate may have informed why he had said that ‘’there is need for further deepening of information sharing between the Command and the agency 4Ci center.

Given Jamoh, NIMASA’s Chief Executive Officer, CEO, impression that the  Badagry Inland   is an oil  rich area   and low  hanging fruit  for the new ministry of marine and blue economy  which ha Adegboyega Oyetola , a former governor  of Osun state and who had met Gunder Pauli, a Professor of Economics and author of Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 million Innovations, 100 million Jobs , and had one -on-one discussion with him in his office at Abuja , during a recent visit  to the country, may have known why security must be given priority attention  by NIMASA  and designate   marine protected areas   , particular, for fishing and tourism  and the Navy , is expected o play a key role  on the  blue economy project.

It wa not surprising why Jamoh and his Management Team, have repeatedly given their words to support Western Naval Command OWG, which had given a signal to the VIP petrol smugglers operating around the Badagry Channel that it is no longer going to be business as usual because of the tight security that had been mounted in the area with the support of the NIMASA 4Ci.

The drop in smuggling of petrol between Nigeria and neighbouring Benin Republic through the Tongji border Island and then shipped to Port Novo the West African country ‘s for Capital city for distribution to other parts of the country barely one month that Rear Admiral Hassan’s boys had intensified their patrol of the Badagry and Seme axis speaks volume.

Security experts would want Wale Adeniyi, MFR, Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, to impress it upon the Leadership of the Western Marine Command, the service amphibious Brigade, operating in the Western zone of the country to work closely with the Western Naval Command, OWG, to sustain the tempo of the anti-smuggling war.    

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