FG seeks Navy’s support to identify pipelines likely to hamper Bonny Seaport project
The Federal Government has solicited the support of the Nigerian Navy to identify pipelines that may hamper the building of the Bonny Deep Seaport in Rivers State.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, made the appeal while receiving a delegation of the Nigerian Navy led by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo.
Speaking, Amaechi told the naval delegation that a place had already been chosen to build the seaport.
“We have chosen a place to build the seaport; we want to make sure there are no pipes in that location and enroute those locations by vessels. We will be glad if they can work with us to identify where the pipes are in Bonny. So that we know where they are,” the Minister said.
The Minister also expressed the Ministry’s preparedness to work with the Nigerian Navy to achieve maritime security in the country and that they would be glad to assist if it is within the authority he presides over.
“If it is something within my authority as the Minister, we proceed and approve. If it’s above the Minister, I will approach the President, so we can get the same approval,” he said.
Speaking further, Ameachi lauded the Nigerian Military for their selfless service, culminating in the safety of the citizenry and protection of the territorial integrity of the nation.
“I have very high regard for the Nigerian military, just because is a national service you are providing. It entails their lives; the sacrifice they make is what guides my relationship with the military and because of that I don’t disrespect any relationship,” the Minister said.
Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, reiterated the need for on- the -ground presence of an effective team of the Nigerian Navy at all seaports across the nation.
He said: “Credible intelligence has it that since we left the ports about 1996, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons into our country is scary. But again, at every importation of fertilizer making materials or explosives for mining sites, the Navy had to be invited.”
Gambo added that: “If NPA invites us at every opportunity to come and inspect these consignments and also ensure that they get to the destinations they are meant for and they are not diverted, then why not have us at the ports so that when the containers come in, they are not broached in the ports and subsequently after the inspection, we make sure they get to the right destination.
“But it has not gained the necessary traction. But I have written again to see that there is need for that especially with the establishment of the Office of the National Coordinator on Small Arms and Light Weapons by the Office of the National Security Adviser.”
He equally appreciated the long standing support of the Minister, saying the launch of the Deep Blue project in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari has impacted on the Navy’s ability to improve maritime security operations in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
The Chief of Naval Staff invited the Minister to visit the Naval Headquarters Abuja, and see the Nigerian Navy’s Falcon Eye System; a maritime surveillance facility that incorporates various sensors located along the nation’s enormous coastline, enabling it respond promptly to danger signals.
Present at the courtesy call were the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Sen. Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako, representing Adamawa Central District and other top level officers of the Nigerian Navy