The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant intervention fund for the maritime sector for the development of its infrastructure.
The Director-General of the agency, Dakuku Peterside, while speaking at the just concluded maritime stakeholders’ meeting held in Calabar on Tuesday, said granting the fund would further ensure the government’s economic diversification is achieved in the sector.
He said money from the fund would be used to acquire fast moving boats, special mission aircraft and helicopters to checkmate the rising wave of pirate attacks on vessels.
“Concerning the intervention fund from the CBN, we are asking for a special interest rate fund to develop the nation’s maritime infrastructure.
“The reason why we are clamouring for the special intervention fund from the CBN is that the maritime sector has the capacity to generate wealth and create enormous employment opportunities with a multiplier effect on the economy.
“We obtained approval of the Federal Executive Council and the president of the country to invest in a number of maritime security assets.
“These assets will be managed by the Nigerian military. We are going to acquire intervention vessels, special mission aircraft, special mission helicopters and a number of fast security vessels.
“When we acquire these things in a bid to tackle piracy we will work closely with our security agencies — the Nigerian navy, marine police, Nigerian army and the Nigerian airforce to operate these facilities,” Peterside said.
The NIMASA DG noted that the asset would not be operated by the agency, but the maritime agency would interface with security agencies in the country, adding that the idea was to bring down piracy to zero within the nation’s maritime space in the next one year.
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