The Government of Japan has promised a ¥300 million (about N910m) grant to the federal government to procure high-speed boats to protect the Gulf of Guinea from piracy.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of exchange of notes for the economic and social development programme in Abuja, the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, noted that the security of the gulf is important to deepen the $1bn annual trade transaction between Nigeria and Japan adding that the route has served as a facilitator of goods traded between the two countries.
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“The security of the Gulf of Guinea is of vital importance not only to Japan and Nigeria but to the whole of West Africa. The cooperation between our two countries will serve as a good example to support the self-sustaining economic and social development of African countries,” he said.
While stating that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) Deep Blue Project has reduced the number of piracy incidents in the gulf, he expressed satisfaction with the federal government’s determination to end piracy.
The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said piracy in the Gulf has led to Nigerian shippers being surcharged by multinational shipping lines when bringing goods into the country.
The minister, while appreciating Japan for being a consistent partner in Nigeria’s development drive, said the project is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said the high-speed boats would help to reinforce coastal security in the gulf as over 60 per cent of shipping activities in Africa pass through Nigerian waters.