Port Harcourt — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has been charged to extend its Deep Blue Project to the inland waterways, in order to curb sea piracy and other forms of criminalities in the Niger Delta communities.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, who gave the charge, particularly lamented the spate of insecurity on the waterways of Rivers State and incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, recalled that the Deep Blue Project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, recently.
Erazua said despite the launch of the $195million maritime security assets, piracy has persisted in the Gulf of Guinea and the nation’s inland waterways, witnessing the abduction of eight persons including five maritime workers, along the Kula-Abonnema River.
“We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnapping and all other maritime related crimes.
“It’s appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually.
“Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secured.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our people?”