According to Bloomberg, rhe deployment will help reduce shipowners’ reliance on private security companies to protect them in the sea off Nigeria’s coast.
As Mr. Amaechi explained, Nigeria will have enough vessels located in the water, watching the water full time. It will also have aircraft watching the water, drones watching the water and all of them have the capacity to respond.
The Deep Blue Project, as the initiative is called, will include two special mission vessels, two aircraft, two helicopters, four drones, 16 armored vehicles and 17 fast interceptor boats.
Once Nigeria increases its capabilitiesm that would mean that ships supporting Nigeria’s oil industry, or importing and exporting goods, should have less need for the approximately 200 privately owned escort vessels manned by armed naval personnel that cost $8,000-$10,000 per day.
Last year, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for 95% of the 135 seafarers seized worldwide in 22 separate incidents, according to the IMB. Hostages are typically hidden in Nigeria’s southern Niger Delta region, while ransoms are negotiated.
What is more, Nigeria’s new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Zubairu Gambo, claimed that some personnel of the Nigerian Navy are colluding with drug traffickers, bandits, kidnappers and economic saboteurs. He also warned that the persons colluding would be identified and sanctioned.