By Mike Ochonma, Business Editor
Nigeria is set to collaborate with the Republic of Korea on the integrated national security and waterways protection infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, deployed to protect the Gulf of Guinea from piracy and other maritime crimes.
Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, made this known on Thursday when Choi Jong Kun, the first vice minister of foreign affairs, Republic of Korea (ROK), paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
“We met in my office and discussed quite a lot that has to do with maritime relationship, especially the Deep Blue Project. We concluded to collaborate and he promised some support and assistance from the government of the Republic of Korea.” Amaechi said.
Eric Ojiekwe, director of press and public relations in the ministry of transportation, said Jong Kun expressed his country’s interest in the Deep Blue Project.
In the submission of the Korean government official, “We commend the Nigeria’s transport minister and the ministry’s initiative and the relentless implementation of the project, also because it increases the maritime security of Nigeria especially in the ground water but also it contributes to the regional security and stability of the International community”.
Kun said that they are interested in finding ways to secure the Gulf of Guinea, as Korea has strong fishery and maritime presence there. He promised to support the Nigerian government to tackle worrisome maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Korean diplomat disclosed that the Korean government plans to host a Joint Commission with Nigeria sometime in October in Seoul, Korea.
“We want the minister of transportation to be part of the Joint Commission, so that in Seoul, we talk about maritime security on the Gulf of Guinea”, he said.
Present during the meeting were the Nigerian ambassador to Korea, Ali Mohammed Magashi, and directors of the ministry of transportation, amongst others.