From Akanimo Kufre (The New Diplomat’s A/Ibom|C/River Correspondent)
Despite recent bomb attack on its facility by unknown militants, Norfin Offshore Shipping has said it is concerned with the training of youths in the Niger Delta region to add value to the nation’s maritime manpower, as well as secure Nigeria’s territorial waters up to the gulf of Guinea.
The recent maritime security challenge in Nigeria involving a Turkish ship has drawn a global demand for more security boats to protect American-Euroupean vessels operating off the coast of West Africa.
Example of such request for security guarantee was from MAERSK, a global shipping giant.
According Norfin Shipping company Chairman, Charles Udonwa, its newly built facility will create opportunity to proffer solution and improve economy and security in the region.
“The first vessel we built is a security vessel to add value to Nigeria before introducing to the bigger part of the Gulf of Guinea. The international Press is screaming about the killed sailor and 15 kidnapped colleagues by pirates off Nigeria’s coast.”
Norfin Shipping CEO and former Akwa Ibom governorship aspirant however assured that the region can be protected with their locally made boats like the ‘Norfin Swift’.
The NORFIN SWIFT is all aluminum made boat with security gadget and global standard.
Udonwa said his company is poised to bring economic development to the area with the building of ferry for Bonny to Port Harcourt routes, Oron to Calabar as well as fishing trawlers.
He also decried the low percentage of youths from the area trained in the Amnesty Program and assured assistance in training youths including Maritime Academy cadets using NORFIN shipping Yard and vessels.
“When our people were taken for Amnesty training program it was only 5% that was taken. So our people have to stand up and say these things are not good and get involved more. Get involved in the maritime sector and asked how do we encourage and improve our youths?”
Norfin Shipping Yard was scheduled for commissioning on 23 January before militants attacked and destroyed its Norfin’s ₦60million worth dredger. It was reported the militants had made a demand for ₦20million before the attack.
The commissioning is rescheduled for 30th January 2021 by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.