President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Nigerian Navy’s effort in maintaining a steady course in its drive for local content development which is in tandem with the philosophy of the current administration.
The President also commended the Nigerian Navy’s effort in the fight against maritime crimes in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea region.
He made the commendation at the commissioning ceremony of some recently acquired platforms as well as the commissioning of the indigenously constructed Seaward Defence Boat III and the keel laying ceremony for the construction of Boat-IV and Boat-V at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Lagos.
The President reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to properly equip the Navy with the right mix of platforms which has seen the Service take delivery of NNS LANA in May this year from France.
He added that given Nigeria’s present high dependence on oil and gas revenues, the Navy is undeniably a major contributor to the economic well-being of the country. He therefore called on local partners to share in this commendation for their efforts at local facilitation as outlined in government’s local content policy.
President Buhari said that “the Federal Government is aware of the Navy’s dedication towards ensuring the security of the vast oil and gas industry in the nation’s maritime environment as well as the nation’s sea lanes of communications”.
He noted that the arrests of those involved in illegalities have yielded results as some pirates, illegal bunkering syndicates, pipeline vandals and other miscreants have been convicted during the year. He attributed the successes to the enforcement of Nigeria’s new anti-piracy law on Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.
Local content development
While appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said “the event marked another milestone in the history of the Nigerian Navy, stating that the Naval Dockyard Seaward Defence Boat Project which started in 2007 has yielded substantial reward with the completion of the third Seaward Defence Boat (SDB)”.
He further stated that with the experience garnered so far, the Naval Dockyard Limited is adequately poised to take on the challenge in pursuit of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Local Content Development effort.
The CNS said that “the Hydrographic ship, NNS LANA which was received from her maiden voyage from France will be involved in the hydrographic survey of Nigeria’s territorial waters”.
He added that the new SBD III, Inshore Patrol Crafts and Fast Patrol Boats namely NNS ABA, NNS KANO, NNS IKENNE, NNS SOKOTO and NNS OSUN will be deployed for surveillance and patrol duties within the territorial waters.
These efforts he said are geared towards enhancing the performance of the Nigerian Navy constitutional role regarding hydrographic survey and policing the nation’s waters. Admiral Gambo assured that the vessels will be adequately maintained to sustain maritime security operations.
Admiral Gambo further reiterated that the Nigerian Navy would continue to imbibe the realities of national imperatives and apply the most optimal policies and strategies in addressing the security challenges in Nigeria’s maritime domain including the Gulf of Guinea.
He said that “the platforms would be deployed in line with Nigerian Navy’s Trinity of Actions Concept of Maritime Security to deny criminal elements freedom of action”.
The CNS emphasized that the commissioning of SDB III, NNS OJI and others is a manifestation of the Federal Government’s commitment to maintaining a well-equipped navy that Nigerians would be proud of. He therefore reaffirmed the Nigerian Navy unflinching and unalloyed loyalty to the government and the Nigerian populace.