Navy to Host 2023 Presidential Fleet Review to Mark 8 years of President Buhari's Profound Transformation of NN Fleet


President Muhammadu Buhari, during his 8-year administration of profound transformation of the NN Fleet has demonstrated enormous political will in ensuring the recapitalisation of the NN Fleet which has become the pride of the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and one of the most versatile naval fleet in Africa. 

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo CFR ably represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (Navy), Rear Admiral Saidu Suleiman Garba disclosed this at the International Press Conference on Wednesday 10th May, 2023 at Naval Headquarters Abuja.

Announcing the Navy Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) 2023, Rear Admiral Saidu Suleiman Garba noted that the theme 'Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity’ was carefully chosen to underscore the essence and value of the NN, as a responsive naval force poised towards the attainment of national prosperity.

He said that the review of NN fleets provides an avenue for the President Buhari to assess the navy’s preparedness to meet statutory obligations in maritime security, safety and defence within a global/regional collaborative approach. 

He stressed that during the Navy Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) 2023, the President will review the fleet in commemoration of a historical event, celebration of important anniversary or any other activity deemed necessary. Some of the occasions to organise a fleet review include special landmarks of either the navy or the country.

According to him, a total of 20 capital ships were procured for the Nigerian Navy, which comprise of Offshore Patrol Vessels, Landing Ship Transport, Hydrographic Survey Vessels, Seaward Defence Boats, Helicopters, as well as, over 300 Inshore Patrol Vessels and Assault crafts. The President also commissioned 2 locally built ships in 2016 and 2021, and laid the keel for 2 more, which will be ready by 2024. 

"It has therefore become expedient to organize the PFR-2023 in celebration of Mr President for his commitment to strengthen the nation’s naval assets and capability to project her instruments of maritime power for national prosperity."he said.

He added that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria will be reviewing the Nigerian Navy Fleet and commission two ships, that is, NNS KADA and NNS IBENO and recently acquired Nigerian Navy Helicopter as about three countries, Brazil, Spain and Ghana will be reviewing their ships too at the Nigerian Navy Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) 2023, scheduled to hold from Friday 19 – Monday 22 May 2023 in Lagos. 

The Naval Chief recalled that the Nigerian Navy has attended many Fleet reviews with the nation’s Flag Ship, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) ARADU particularly, in the UK in 2005 to celebrate the Bi-centenary of the battle of Trafalgar and in 2007 in Brazil to celebrate the centenary of the Brazilian Navy. 

He said, "NNS THUNDER also sailed to Australia in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of the Australian Navy. More recently, the NN sent personnel to participate in the Bangladesh Navy Fleet Review in December 2022, to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the father of the Bangladesh Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujbue Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the country’s Independence. 

"There will also be a Guard of Honour for the President, ceremonial sailing Pass Exercise (PASSEX), combat and aerial displays. Other activities lined up for the day include capability demonstration by NN Special Forces, defence/maritime expo exhibition, combined naval parade and exercises.", he said.

The PFR involves 16 NN warships, 3 x AW109E NN helicopters and a mix of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Aircraft. The participating NN ships are NNS THUNDER, NNS CENTENARY, NNS IKENNE, NNS KADA, NNS LANA, NNS KANO, NNS NGURU, NNS IBENO, NNS ABA, NNS OJI, NNS ANDONI, NNS OSUN, NNS OSE, NNS EKULU, NNS GONGOLA and NNS SHIRORO. 

The participating NAF aircraft are 1 x MI35 Helicopter, 1 x Diamond-42, 1 x ATR-42 MPA and 3 x A29 Super Tucano. Some foreign warships from allied nations including Spain, Brazil and Ghana are also expected to participate in the exercise. As a way of rounding off, a Gala Night will be hosted in the evening of Monday 22 May 2023 at the NDL, Victoria Island, Lagos.

PFRs are traditional events, which navies across the world conduct in order to honour their sovereigns or heads of government. It involves assemblage of ships and other maritime assets at a designated area for the purpose of demonstrating loyalty and allegiance to the State. 

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