Wednesday 24th May, 2017
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FG boosts anti-piracy fight with $186m equipment

FG boosts anti-piracy fight with $186m equipment

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.

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