Nigeria maintains zero piracy attacks – Chief of Naval Staff
Nigeria has sustained zero piracy attacks since her clearance on 3rd March 2022, from the list of piracy-prone countries by the International maritime Bureau (IMB).
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, stated this on Friday in Lagos during the flag-off ceremony of Exercise OBANGAME Express 2023, which took place at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Gambo attributed the status to the sustained maritime security operations of the Nigerian Navy, and its collaborative exercises with navies of friendly nations.
He added said that reports from various Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Centres indicate improvements in legitimate shipping activities with negligible crime rates.
His words: “These achievements are attributable to sustained presence of Nigerian Navy ships at sea, increased regional and international synergy as well as maritime domain awareness as facilitated by exercises such as OBANGAME.”
Gambo was optimistic that the exercise would positively impact on Nigerian navy’s readiness for combat operation through training, while exposing other maritime related agencies to benefits of inter-agency cooperation as well as international collaboration.
For the week-long exercise beginning from 27th January to 3rd February 2023, the Nigerian Navy has assigned 10 Nigerian navy ships, eight boats, two helicopters, one maritime patrol aircraft, a detachment of the special boat service and the use of the maritime domain awareness capability.
Participating navies would undertake exercises and drills covering anti-human trafficking, drills on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), illegal oil bunkering, various gunnery and communication exercises, fleet manoeuvres, simulate firefighting and flooding exercise, conduct anti-arms and anti-drugs smuggling , and anti-piracy exercise in conjunction with other navies in Zone E.
Nations participating in exercise OBANGAME Express 2023 include Angola, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Togo, and the United States. Also participating will be the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).