Posted on September 05, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie
The Nigerian Navy have been deployed to the Niger Delta region to protect key oil installations and increase their presence in the West African maritime domain.
16 newly acquired warships and boats to curb pirate activity and strengthen the stability in the Gulf of Guinea.
The new shipment of vessels includes two 110 MKII Fast Patrol Crafts (FPC)- NNS NGURU and NNS EKULU; four 72MKII Inshore Patrol Craft (IPC)- NNS GONGOLA, NNS OSE, NNS CALABAR, and NNS SHIRORO, and 10 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS).
As well as protecting the oil rich region, the vessels will play a part in joint operations and patrols of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) maritime zone E.
The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, said the latest additions have increased the navy’s platforms acquisition in the last two years to over 200.
He said: “The acquisition of the six new OCEA FPC and 10 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) will narrow the capability gaps in enhancing security of the country’s maritime expanse.
“Their commissioning and induction respectively into the service is therefore another operational milestone for the navy as they will complement existing Maritime Domain Awareness Capability in the face of its inherent need for a potent interdiction capability.
“I must however be quick to observe that despite this commendable stride, we have barely scratched the outstanding deficit in the navy fleet. Capacity building therefore is a running priority of the navy. The navy continues to apply its double pronged approach of platform sourcing from both foreign shipyards and local manufacturing.
“Domestically, local boat building associates like Messrs Epenal Boat Builders and John Holt Plc which have accounted for the delivery of over 200 boats in the past have continued to be patronised. The navy dockyard remains productively engaged as it is on course for the delivery of a third straight Seaward Defence Boat (SDB), now a 42 meter boat.
“Furthermore, efforts are ongoing towards acquiring more fast patrol vessels for littoral waters up to the EEZ, while the construction of a hydrographic vessel and landing ship would further reinforce the navy’s regional maritime dominance.”
Also at the event were Defence Minister Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani; Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris; Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Isa Misau; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the Navy, Abdulsamad Dasuki, and Director General, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, heads of military and paramilitary institutions in Lagos as well as captains of industries.
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