Senate Seeks Fast-track Implementation Of Deep Blue Sea Project To Fight Piracy

The Senate, on Wednesday, challenged Nigeria’s maritime agency to protect Nigeria’s waterways and combat the menace of pirates and armed bandits, by the fast-tracking implementation of the Deep Blue Sea Project.
In a resolution sequel to a motion titled “urgent need to address the menace of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria’s internal waters,” the Senate also urged the Federal Government to deploy more naval personnel on the Oron coastal area to check the activities of pirates and bandits.
In a statement by Mohammed Isa, Special Assistant (Media), to President of the Senate, the lawmakers urged the Executive arm to ensure prompt prosecution of arrested pirates and bandits to serve as deterrence.
Senator Akon Etim Eyakenye (PDP- Akwa-Ibom South) who sponsored the motion commended the Navy and NIMASA for their efforts in the reduction of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea, which forced the criminals to move further inward to terrorize residents in Oron coastal area.
“Despite the efforts of the Navy, piracy and banditry are now common in Nigeria’s international waters especially along the Oron coastal area making the waters perilous for fishermen, traders, and transporters.
“The menace of pirates and bandits who have made the creeks of Akwa-Ibom their habitation has led to the untold story of woes, hardship, kidnap and deaths among the communities and crippled the economy of the area.”
He recalled that NIMASA initiated operation Deep Blue Sea Project aimed to combat privacy and banditry by establishing a permanent Marine Police.
The project, he said, has remained at the planning stage with no law establishing it.
He said NIMASA relied on the secondment of personnel from the Navy and other services, adding that, only the full implementation of Deep Blue Sea Project would curb the menace of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea.