Navy signs contract for two new warships with Turkish firm
The Nigerian Navy, on Wednesday in Abuja, signed a contract with a Turkish company, Messrs Dearsan Shipyard Limited, for the purchase of two brand new Offshore Patrol Vessels.
This is contained in a statement by the Director of Information, Navy Headquarters, Commodore Suleman Dahun.
Dahun said the vessels were expected to be completed within 37 months.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said at the signing of the agreement that the Nigerian Navy had brought to bear its dominant status in the West African sub-region region in the last couple of months.
This, he said, was by sustaining an aggressive presence in the nation’s maritime environment, leading to drastic reduction in criminality.
Gambo added that the stride had been acknowledged by the International Maritime Bureau in its Global Piracy Report of July 14, indicating the lowest rate of piracy and armed attacks against ships in 27 years.
According him, the report was corroborated by the Defence Web maritime security report of October 15, which noted further decline in reported cases of piracy and armed attacks against shipping in the Gulf of Guinea.
This, he attributed to the impact of the Nigerian Navy maritime security operations efforts.
Gambo stated that the signing of the contract was yet another milestone achievement by the Navy in its fleet renewal effort towards realising its 2021-2030 strategic plans.
He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support and goodwill towards the Navy.
The Chief of Naval Staff recalled that on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Navy hosted the Chief of the Ghana Navy to discuss collaborative efforts to combat piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said: “During the meeting, it was agreed that there was a need to establish a standing ECOWAS Multinational Task Force in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The President granted approval for the Nigerian Navy to procure two High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels with capability to carry out maritime interdiction operations.
“The vessels are to also conduct surveillance and Special Forces’ operations as well as provide naval fire support to land forces.
“The OPVs will also be capable of conducting search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations and disaster relief operations among others.”
Gambo disclosed that Dearsan Shipyard Limited was selected based on its track record and the conviction that the shipyard would be able to construct a platform that could be deployed as an OPV in peacetime.
“The OPVs also have the capability and flexibility to be quickly outfitted with sensors and weapons to re-role the platform for warfare and maritime defence purposes, at a cost effective price,” he added.
He acknowledged the fact that the occasion was a remarkable one as it marked the consummation of relationship between the Nigerian Navy and Messrs Dearsan Limited.
This, relationship, he assured would lead to more fruitful engagements between Nigeria and Turkey.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Dearsan Shipyard Limited, Murat Gordi, appreciated the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian government for the confidence reposed in his company to construct the OPVs.
Gordi assured that the company would reciprocate by building the best class vessel for the Nigerian Navy.