NNS KADA will support ECOWAS mandate, enhance our capability against maritime crimes – Vice Adm. Gambo
…AS NNS KADA arrived Lagos after 56 days maiden voyage from UAE
The Nigerian Navy has expressed confidence that its newly acquired Landing Ship Transport, NNS KADA, would enhance its operations covering maritime domain security as well as supporting the ECOWAS mandate.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said this on Friday while receiving NNS KADA at the NNS BEECROFT Jetty at the Naval Base, Apapa Lagos, after the ship’s successful maiden voyage from the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking, the CNS said: “It is pertinent to state that the induction of NNS KADA into the Nigerian Navy fleet would further enhance our deterrence capability against maritime crimes and illegalities within the nation’s maritime domain and Gulf of Guinea.
“Furthermore, the vessel will serve as a force multiplier to project power, respond to humanitarian crises and convey relief materials in support of non-kinetic operations within the region and beyond. NNS KADA will no doubt boost the Nigerian Navy’s capability in support of ECOWAS mandate.”
Speaking on the navy’s progress with boosting its fleet and diverse operations, the CNS said: “About a year ago, precisely on 17 May 2021, we were gathered here to welcome our State-of-the-art Hydrographic Survey vessel – NNS LANA from France.
“A year later, sequel to a colourful Change of Flag Ceremony on 1 April 2022 at Sharjah, in United Arab Emirates, I in company of very senior dignitaries and government officials bided NNS KADA farewell on her homebound voyage. After riding on waves at sea for 56 days and covering a distance of 8,414.34 nautical miles, we are here to say welcome.”
On its maiden voyage from the UAE, NNS KADA paid port calls to five countries, including Port Duqm in Oman, Port Mombasa in Kenya and Port Cape Town in South Africa. Others are Port Luanda in Angola and Port Gentil in Gabon.
According to Admiral Gambo, the port calls were in line with Nigerian Navy’s diplomatic role, and an opportunity to further consolidate the nation’s relations with friendly littoral states and allies.
He commended the ships’ commanding officer, Capt. Reginald Odeodi Adoki, for his enthusiasm and professionalism exhibited throughout the voyage.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, gave assurances that NNS KADA into the service “would ensure enhanced operations and thus better security and safety of the maritime space.”
Wambai said that the navy’s focus on enhancing its operations with more specialised vessels was worth the efforts as he recalled how a Hydrographic specialised vessel- NNS LANA joined the navy’s fleet on the 17 of May 2021, and how a year later, it also received NNS KADA – a Landing Ship Tank.
He added that having NNS KADA join the fleet of the Nigerian navy would enhance its operations “against crude oil theft, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, smuggling, arms proliferation, sea robbery and piracy amongst others.”
The FOC West also stated that NNS KADA replaced the decommissioned Landing Ship Tanks; Nigerian Navy Ship AMBE/OFIOM.
Commanding Officer of NNS KADA, Capt. Adoki, described his experience on the voyage as “Wonderful, remarkable and very rewarding.”
He explained that NNS KADA is a Landing Ship Transport, doing beyond what the Landing Ship Tanks were known for in the Second World War, when they just carried only Tanks for the Army.
He added that “Being a Landing Ship Transport means it would carry both a ship in the traditional way and also does carrying of cargo and other logistics from one place to another when they are needed in different places.
“It is the first type of ship that is multi-rolled, carrying out humanitarian and disaster-relief operations, search and rescue. The main deck is such a huge place to take different containers of 10, 20, 40ft .The Ro-Ro deck is meant for the tank and other equipment.”