The Nigerian Deep Blue Project will be more effective and sustainable if there is a policy framework to support not only to drive it but ensure that future administrations take charge of it.
The Deep Blue Project, if well managed, is bound to engender massive job creation, add to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and increase Consolidated Revenue to fund the national budget.
The Deep Blue Project is due for launch today in Lagos by President Muhammadu Buhari and is promoted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) today in Lagos.
This was posited by the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) at its special congress on Tuesday in Lagos, advising NIMASA that the Deep Blue Project must be driven by an assemblage of maritime experts and technocrats for the objectives to be fully realized.
Commending NIMASA for this laudable project which is aimed at tackling the incidents of piracy, sea robbery and other maritime crimes, MAJAN called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to utilize the project to tap the good potentials of the sea by investing heavily in capacity-building, infrastructure, shipbuilding and seafarers development.
The media professionals stressed that NIMASA and its partners – the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Department of State Service – must not see the project strictly as a security affair but ensure full participation, commitment and investment of other key industry stakeholders in it.
MAJAN called on the Federal Government to urgently disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to indigenous maritime operators to enable them to leverage on the initiative as the Deep Blue Project will lead to diversification of the nation’s economy with the attendant foreign exchange earnings.
“The maritime industry contributes significantly to the nation’s revenue generation after oil and gas and everything must be done to maintain its position as a valuable contributor to national development.
“In view of the current efforts by NIMASA to develop a strategy to confront the hydra-headed problem of maritime insecurity, with the deployment of the assets of the Deep Blue Project, we congratulate the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh for this milestone achievement.
“MAJAN understands that NIMASA is working with the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Airforce, the Nigeria Police, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Department of State Service to evolve a common front to tackle the menace. This collaboration is highly commendable and if this project is fully implemented, Nigeria will become the maritime hub in Africa,” noted MAJAN.