Business Maritime

Former ASAN President advocates Deep Blue Project for securing Nigerian maritime anchorage areas

In a recent development, Mr. Temisan Omatseye, former President of the African Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ASAN), highlighted the importance of utilising the Deep Blue Project as the security framework for safeguarding anchorage areas within the Nigerian maritime sphere. Omatseye articulated this stance during the inaugural Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) annual lecture held in Lagos.

Addressing the significance of anchorage, defined as an offshore area suitable for ship anchoring, Omatseye underscored that integrating the Deep Blue Project into these zones would effectively curtail the cost of shipping goods into Nigeria.

He expressed concerns over the current practice where foreign shipping entities pay $50,000 per vessel for security patrol boats at the anchorage, ultimately escalating the expenses associated with importing goods into the country. Omatseye advocated for the Deep Blue Project to offer these services either for free or at subsidised rates, countering previous allegations of extortion against the former operator, Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. (OMSL).

Omatseye urged a cessation of political manoeuvring within the shipping industry, emphasising the need to bridge the insecurity gap that led to the establishment of the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) by OMSL. He suggested that if the government seeks to terminate the SAA, it should be replaced with a robust alternative, citing the Joint Venture between the Navy and the Nigerian Ports Authority under OMSL’s operations.


Furthermore, he proposed the establishment of a Response Zone Transit Corridor to monitor vessels within Nigerian maritime environments, foreseeing increased trade, revenue generation, and synergies with the Deep Blue Project as the benefits of a secure anchorage.

Echoing Omatseye’s sentiments, Mr. Emmanuel Maiguwa, President of the Maritime Security Providers Association of Nigeria, stressed the necessity of a competent agency to oversee anchorage operations. He called for a comprehensive framework to effectively address maritime security threats and urged the adoption of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code, emphasising its limitations in dealing with terrorism and the non-inclusion of certain maritime facilities.

Maiguwa questioned the applicability of ISPS to all maritime facilities, stressing the need for a holistic approach to maritime security, especially in addressing terrorism threats, and recommended a competent agency to supervise anchorage security.

The Deep Blue Project, also known as the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, is championed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). This initiative seeks to enhance security and protection measures within Nigerian waters.


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