DEEP BLUE PROJECT: LETS GET IT RIGHT
Implementation has always Been a Challenge, DBP has to Succeed
The accolades and words of encouragement in support for the successful launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Project also known as the Deep Blue Project, DBP, are understandably patriotic and being uttered out of concern for the sustainability of the Nigerian Maritime domain and by extension the economy of the country.
The birthing of the DBP has enjoyed uncommon continuity and drive in NIMASA. From the Dr. Dakuku Peterside administration to the Dr. Bashir Jamoh led management, the DBP is one project which Jamoh committed to and pursued vigorously with passion and zest culminating in the launch of the project by President Mohammadu Buhari on June 10, 2021 in Lagos.
Few days after the launch of the DBP, the assemblage and expected inauguration of a team of nine eminent Nigerians as members of the Coordinating Group of the Consultancy outfit called Blue Economy Resources Nigeria calls for concern.
From available statistics and data, we are worried that having a Coordination Group, Consultancy Outfit for Blue Economy Resources Nigeria is the creation of additional bureaucracy, Red Tape and hurdles in the implementation of the DBP by NIMASA.
It is our view that dismantling the Secure Anchorage Area, SAA, contract and setting up this group does not sign post any decrease in the decried multi layered, over clogged processes in Nigeria’s Maritime Industry.
Without a doubt, the selected men and women are champions of Maritime development in Nigeria. They have repeatedly voiced their pains and lamented their frustrations at the slow pace of development of the industry.
Could their coming together as a Coordinating Group of a Consultancy outfit called Blue Economy Resources Nigeria, make any difference?
While a look at the personalities gives hope and inspiration, the inauguration of several such groups in the past without much impact seems an indication that we are applying same old, unprofitable, unrewarding ideas to modern day challenges.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside as Director General of NIMASA, during its 2019 Merit Awards, inaugurated a committee on the management of (plastic) waste on Nigerian waters (along the Coastal states) with the then Board Chairman Major General Jonathan India Garba (rtd) as chairman.
How well did that committee deliver?
Coincidentally and very ironic too, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is set to inaugurate the Coordinating Group of the Consultancy outfit called Blue Economy Resources Nigeria.
Membership/Composition of the Group
Lami Tumaka is Chairman of the Blue Economy Coordinating Group Board
Mr Ojiji Oniri Onya Esq. will serve as Managing Director.
Alhaji Suleiman Adama-Executive Director
Alhaji Dikko Tahir Bala-Executive Director.
Senator Folashade Grace Bent Member
Commodore Sunday D. Atakpa Member
Mrs. Jean Chiazor Anishere SAN Member
HRM Alhaji Munir Ja’afaru Esq Member
Mr. Temisan Omatseye (Former DG NIMASA) Member.
Giving insight to the intent and purposes of the group, the Chairperson, Hajia Lami Tumaka said “The group is a private sector initiative that began about a year ago which is not related to the Federal Government’s Deep Blue Project. Any link is a misinterpretation. The Group was set up to render consultancy and Advisory services to harness the blue economy resources and opportunities in Nigeria”.
Related to, connected with or tied to the DBP or not is not an issue. Our concern is a hitch free, unencumbered, hurdle free implementation of the DBP.
We are of the view that the demands/protocols of Due Process and Redtapism in executing projects in Nigeria is a factor in the non-realization of several laudable projects in the country.
We are unsure of what the Mandate of the Coordinating Group of the Consultancy outfit called Blue Economy Resources Nigeria is. It’s Vision and Mission is also unclear but we are reassured by the caliber, integrity and passion of members of the group and their commitment to evolving an efficient, business friendly, attractive maritime industry.
We understand that the DBP is not limited to Safety and Security issues. Is the Hajia Lami Tumaka led group focused on the other areas of opportunities and investments to create jobs or to be consulted in every aspect on implementation of the DBP?
Establishing units dedicated to the actualization of the different components of the DBP within NIMASA with competent persons leading is a surer means to achieving the full potentials of the DBP instead of accommodating private interests which, while not subtracting from the initiative, could become additional burden on the Agency.
Could the inauguration of this group be the beginning of the incubation of others on the wings of the DBP?
Could the DBP fly if the wings are weighed down by consultants?
NIMASA as the implementing agency must be watchful and very alert on the implementation of the Deep Blue Project because it has no excuse not to succeed.
The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh is not a stranger in the administration and implementation of projects in NIMASA. We are confident that he will act in the overall interest of Nigeria.