The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Juan Ignacio Sell, has said the Spanish Government is desirous to deepen cooperation with Nigeria through further collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Ambassador Juan stated this while inspecting two new bulletproof security boats built for NIMASA by Spanish Company, Aresa. This is just as the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola, stated that deploying the vessels is priority.

Ambassador Juan said, “This is one more milestone in the cooperation between Spain and Nigeria for maritime security. The Spanish Government sees Nigeria as prime in attaining security in the Gulf of Guinea. We also have a naval ship present in the Gulf of Guinea to enhance security.

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“The message from our president back home is for the embassy to seek more partnership with Nigeria in the maritime sector. The creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by President Bola Tinubu is a sign that this administration is committed to harnessing the ocean potentials and Spain is ready to support Nigeria all the way. This is why I came from Abuja to see the DG.”

On his part, the NIMASA DG noted that management under his leadership will fast track the deployment of the patrol boats as soon as possible. He also welcomed the partnership with Spain, noting that security in the maritime domain cannot be done in silos.

“Maritime security cannot be done in silos by any country. Collaboration plays a major role in achieving safety and security in the maritime domain. We appreciate the gesture from the Spanish Government and we will explore areas of collaboration, particularly in terms of both human and infrastructural development. We will work out the logistics so that these vessels can be deployed immediately. I am confident that they will be instrumental not just to enhance security in Nigerian waters, but also shore up revenue accruable to the Federal Government as port calls by vessels will increase and fishing in Nigerian coastal waters will become a major industry in Nigeria.

The eight passenger, 13.2 meters long security boats with a fuel capacity of 3,000 liters, is fully air-conditioned with a range of 500 nautical miles. They are powered with two 2,300 horsepower outboard engines with a maximum speed of 45 knots and 25 knots at cruising speed. NIMASA now has seven fast intervention bulletproof Aresa boats to be deployed soon.

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