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Deep Blue Project Has Massively Reduced Piracy Attacks—NIMASA

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Deep Blue Project

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that the country has recorded a massive reduction of piracy attacks on the Nigerian waters.

This was disclosed by the Director-General of the agency, Mr Bashir Jamoh, through his Special Assistant on Communication Strategies, Mr Ubong Essien.

He explained that the low piracy attacks were achieved following the unveiling of the Deep Blue Project, a security architecture in the waters.

He said the security achievement was in collaboration with the Navy, Air Force, the Army and NIMASA as the major drivers.

He said Nigeria has been pressing for the lifting of the War Risk Insurance (WRI) imposed on vessels delivering goods and merchandise to the country due to fears of insecurity.

Mr Jamoh explained that goods coming to Nigeria carry very high and discriminatory fees that fuel inflation in Nigeria, revealing how NIMASA has gone to key maritime stations around the world to make case for the WRI removal.

The NIMASA DG said it was sad that this has persisted despite huge improvements in security on Nigeria’s waters.

“We are all paying the price for it. When goods enter the country, the higher cost in shipping and insurance will drive the cost up.

“The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has admitted that the attacks have drastically dropped as never before in decades. What baffles the NIMASA management is why that though this reduction in attacks has been admitted by the IMB but the WRI is still in place. It’s a punitive insurance measure.

“The DG has gone to three international meetings where he has been making demand and appeal for removal of War Risk Insurance,” the statement added.

Speaking further, he said: “It is a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Transportation. NIMASA is driving it as the realising agency in terms of funding for the acquisition of the assets.

“You have three categories of assets, air, sea and land: In the air asset category, we have two special mission helicopters and two aircraft. The helicopters handle surveillance but in the event of an emergency, they can serve as intervention assets. NIMASA bears the responsibility of the safety of sea operations and thus uses the air assets to ensure this.

“In sea assets, we have two special mission vessels that go to sea and can stay at one spot from time to time and watch out. There are fast-moving interception boats that can take about 16 armed agents each.

“They serve as MSU (Maritime Security Unit). They can be deployed in the event of an attack on any vessel at the nation’s territorial waters or anywhere within its jurisdiction or permit.”

The agency noted that the Deep Blue Project as a specialised security strategy was yielding huge dividends, not only in reducing pirates’ attacks but in the many arrests and recent convictions secured.

He disclosed the latest convictions put at 10 and fines of N200, 000 each by a federal high court sitting in Ikoyi for hijacking a merchant’s vessel, FV Hailufeng II, on May 15, 2020, saying the total number of convictions had risen to 20. This was being achieved under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act of 2019.

“This is the first time such feat has been recorded in Nigeria’s waters. Before now, there were no strong legal instruments to hold the criminals or pirates. Now, Nigeria is becoming a model in the Gulf of Guinea in terms of security the nation’s security architecture and model,” Mr Jamoh said.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President

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Akinwumi Adesina Sworn-In

By Adedapo Adesanya

The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.

Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.

In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.

However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.

“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.

“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.

“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.

Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.

The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.

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Sanwo-Olu Promises Justice for Sound Engineer David Imoh

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David Imoh Sound Engineer

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has promised to ensure that the late Sound Engineer killed by a mob in the Lekki area of the state last week gets justice.

The Governor gave this assurance through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement issued on Monday night.

Last week, after boarding a commercial motorcycle, an argument ensued between Mr David Imoh and the okada rider over N100 and attracted other riders, who then lynched him.

There have been calls for justice for the deceased and in the statement today, the state governor said this would be done.

He condemned the mob attack and said the police are interrogating four suspects at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti in connection with the incident, while two survivors of the act are in hospital.

According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the government will address the root cause of this and similar incidents, which have caused public anxiety, appealing to residents to remain calm as police continue to investigate the matter.

“Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.

“We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are,” the statement stressed.

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N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris

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ahmed idris

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, is cooling off in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He is having talks with the agency, explaining what he knows about an alleged diversion of N80 billion belonging to the federal government.

He was picked up by operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022, after allegedly failing to honour invitations by the commission to respond to issues connected to the issue.

In a statement issued on Monday night, the anti-money laundering organisation claimed that Mr Idris, through verified intelligence, “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” another part of the statement disclosed.

The AGF has been in the news lately over an audit report, which indicted some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government of fraud.

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