Buhari commends Nigerian Navy’s ship-building enterprise
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commended the Nigerian Navy for solely building a Seaward Defence Boat III to be deployed for maritime security operations.
Buhari, who was at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos for the commissioning of six newly-acquired boats and the one built locally, also performed the keel- laying ceremony for the construction of Boat-IV and Boat-V.
The new platforms commissioned are Nigerian Navy Ships OJI, LANA, KANO, IKENNE, ABA, SOKOTO and OSUN.
Speaking, President Buhari expressed confidence that the newly-commissioned vessels would further enhance the capability of the Nigerian navy in its fight against all forms of maritime crimes.
His words: “It is gratifying to see that this array of platforms would shortly be inducted into the inventory of the Navy fleet. This would no doubt boost the capability of the Navy in securing Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“I am also delighted to note that one of the ships to be commissioned today, NNS OJI; which is a Seaward Defence Boat, is the third of its series to be locally built at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Lagos solely by our Navy engineers.
“I commend the Navy’s effort at maintaining a steady course in its drive for local content development which is in tandem with the philosophy of our administration.”
The President also commended the navy for its efforts in security of the nation’s oil and gas facilities in the maritime environment, as well as the nation’s sea lanes of communication.
“Given our present high dependence on oil and gas revenues, the Navy is undeniably a major contributor to the economic well-being of our country.
“Arrests of those involved in illegalities have yielded results as some pirates, illegal bunkering syndicates, pipeline vandals and other miscreants have been convicted during this year,” The President said.
He pledged continued support of his administration to the Nigerian Navy, to enable it achieve its statutory responsibilities.
In his welcome address earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said that the Naval Dockyard Limited, with its rich experience from building of the Seaward Defence Boat III, was prepared to build the Seaward Defence Boat IV and V, a plan that supports the Federal Government’s Local Content Development effort.
Gambo disclosed that the Hydrographic Ship NNS LANA, which was received from her maiden voyage from France to Nigeria on 17 May 21, would be deployed for hydrographic surveys of the nation’s territorial waters.
His words: “The NNS LANA will be involved in the hydrographic survey of our territorial waters towards ensuring safety of navigation within our waterways, while SDBIII, Inshore Patrol Crafts (IPC) and Fast Patrol Boats (FPB) namely: NNS ABA, NNS KANO, NNS IKENNE, NNS SOKOTO and NNS OSUN will be deployed for surveillance and patrol duties within our waters.”
The efforts are geared towards enhancing the performance of the Navy’s constitutional role regarding hydrographic survey and policing of the nation’s waters, the CNS added.
Gambo expressed confidence that the induction of the platforms into the Nigerian Navy fleet would lead to significant decline in criminal activities in the nation’s Maritime Domain.
He gave assurances of the Navy’s readiness to ensure adequate maintenance of the assets to sustain the nation’s maritime security operations.