FG Acquires Two Helicopters, 20 Speedboats For Maritime Security
The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it had taken delivery of two helicopters, 20 speedboats and other key equipment needed to secure Nigeria’s waterways.
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari approved $195m for the purchase of security tools to secure the country’s waters, as well as curb criminal activities in the maritime sector.
In his address on Thursday at a valedictory press briefing in Abuja, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, observed that “our water today is extremely bad. The Gulf of Guinea is the worst in the world but we are about to clean it up.
“We won a contract of $195m approved by the President to ensure that we have maritime security. So, they bought equipment and they just arrived at the seaport and we are clearing. They are bringing in two helicopters, 20 speedboats with flat bottom because of the Niger Delta and communication equipment.”
He added, “All those have arrived in Nigeria and we believe they will be fixed in the next one to two months. This will enable us to see Nigerian waters from anywhere and also see those who engage in illegal bunkering and those who kidnap people on the waters. We will know whether they will be faster than the camera or not.”
Amaechi stated that once the camera picks up a criminal, the Navy would respond, as the government was bringing in infrastructure that would enable it to see the country’s waterways “from beginning to the end and to abort criminal activities.”
He said, “Since the equipment has arrived and we have already trained personnel, the moment they finish installing the equipment, then criminal activities on the waterways will be checked.”
He further noted that the arrival of the equipment would help the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the general public.
Amaechi also stated that the Federal Executive Council recently approved the national single window, which was aimed at reducing the hours used to clear goods at the ports.
“The number of months we used to wait to clear our goods have reduced to days. During our second to the last cabinet meeting, the national single window was approved and it makes it possible to clear goods in 48 hours,” he said.