In a move that will checkmate sea piracy within the nation’s maritime domain, the Federal Government will in a couple of months deploy military wares worth $186 million on Nigerian coastal waters.
Disclosing this Thursday in Lagos, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $186 million for the purchase of three helicopters, three aircraft, 12 vessels to be stationed in the water, and 20 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
Amaechi, who spoke at a national conference on fast-tracking port reforms, with the theme: “Making Nigerian Seaports World Class,” said that these arsenals would be deployed “in the next three months” to complement existing facilities and strategies for a more comprehensive battle against piracy in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
According to him, while the aircraft would aid air surveillance and attack, this will be complemented by the vessels just as the APCs would take care of any operation required on the ground, all towards boosting confidence in the maritime sector.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the contract for the recently launched dredging of the River Niger was worth N100 million, far short of the N47 billion for which that contract was awarded in the past.
According to Amaechi, the dredging, which has begun with the first phase stretching from Lokoja to Onitsha, and the second phase that would be from Onitsha to Bayelsa, will save for the nation over N29 billion from even the N34 billion that had already been paid by the former administration.