President Buhari Praises Naval Engineers For Building 3 Seaward Defence Boats, Lauds Navy For Indigenous Shipbuilding

The President, Muhammadu Buhari has praised the naval engineers who were wholly responsible for building of three Seaward Defence Boats namely NNS ANDONI, NNS KARADUWA and NNS OJI, also commended Nigerian Navy efforts in indigenous shipbuilding in line with the nation’s local content development plan which is yielding positive result.

President Buhari gave the commendation today, Monday, 22nd May 2023 while reviewing the Nigerian Navy Fleet at the NDL, Victoria Island, Lagos.

President Buhari said the combat displays staged by elements of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service and a mix of the air assets from the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force were quite impressive. 

He said his administration vigorously engaged in the recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy Fleet throughout his 8 years in office. Accordingly, about 20 capital ships have been acquired for the Nigerian Navy. 

"These ships comprise Offshore Patrol Vessels, Landing Ship Transport, Hydrographic Survey Vessels, Seaward Defence Boats and Helicopters as well as over 300 Inshore Patrol Vessels and Assault Craft. During this Fleet Review, I had the honour to commission a new helicopter NN410 manufactured in Italy, NNS KADA, a Landing Ship Transport, built in Sharjah United Arab Emirates and NNS IBENO, donated by the Peoples Republic of China."he noted.

President Buhari also appreciated the donation and mutual military cooperation with ship building partner nations for their support, which has encouraged local ship building by the Nigerian Navy.

He affirmed that, piracy reduced significantly over the past 7 years, which culminated in delisting Nigeria from the list of piracy prone countries by the International Maritime Bureau in March 2022.

"Furthermore, application of technology to secure the maritime domain has supported intelligence driven deployment of these ships. I will particularly commend the diligent arraignment and persecution of MT HEROIC IDUN, sequel to the detection and arrest for attempting to load crude oil, offshore Bonny in August 2022 without authorisation amongst others. This successful conviction further confirms the navy’s resolve to protect resources for economic prosperity.

"Pertinently, more than half of Nigerian maritime trade pass through ports located in Lagos and as such continues to be a lifeline for the nation’s industry and economy. This strategic importance further underscores the necessity of cordial relations. 

In his welcome address, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo said that the recapitalisation of the fleet has enhanced Nigerian Navy maritime security framework and repositioned it to effectively combat maritime crimes. 

"There is no better evidence to show than the record of drastic decline in piracy incidents in Nigerian waters as contained in the International Maritime Bureau Global Piracy Report of 14 July 2021. 

"This culminated in delisting Nigeria from the International Maritime Bureau List of Piracy prone countries in March last year. These achievements are attributable to sustained presence of Nigerian Navy ships at sea, increased regional and international synergy as well as active maritime domain awareness."he said.

The Naval Chief added that to further bolster Nigerian Navy maritime security operations efforts, Mr President approved acquisition of additional vessels as well as several air assets. Currently under construction are 2 by 76m High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels in Turkey, 3 by 45m Fast Patrol Boats in France and 2 by Augusta Westland helicopters amongst others.

"Undoubtedly, the transformation of the Nigerian Navy within the 8 years of Mr President’s tenure in office has repositioned the Navy for better service delivery and actualization of its constitutional mandate. Hence, the theme of this Fleet Review – “Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity”. 

He also gave a brief highlight of the platforms to commissioned. NNS KADA, a Landing Ship Transport, was built by Messrs DAMEN at the Sharjah Port, United Arab Emirates. 

The ship arrived Nigeria on 22 May 22 and will serve as a force multiplier towards projecting naval power as well as support non-kinetic operations. NNS IBENO is a fast patrol craft, donated by the Peoples Republic of China.

He said the ship will be deployed for surveillance and patrol duties within our waters and the region. The NN Helicopter, NN410, first of 3 to be delivered, which arrived in January this year will increase reaction time of the Fleet to incidences at sea and aid conduct of Search and Rescue Operations amongst others. Induction of these platforms into the NN Fleet will lead to further decline in maritime crimes thereby boosting socio-economic activities within the Nigerian Maritime Environment.

SpyeTV News reports that, the Presidential Fleet Review Maritime Discourse 2023 showcases different types and classes of ships as well as helicopter which symbolizes the nation’s maritime power and its preparedness to carry out the Navy’s constitutional roles. Also, there was a combat displays staged by elements of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service and a mix of the air assets from the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force were quite impressive. 

- SpyeTV News

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