By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In its untiring efforts in upgrading its fleets, the Nigerian Navy has procured new platforms as well as revamped previously operational ones to tackle maritime crimes in the nation’s maritime domain.
Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff,CNS, Vice Admiral I E Ibas disclosed this during his welcome address at the Nigerian Navy Retreat 2018 which held at the Nigerian Naval Engineering College in Sapele,Delta State.
The Naval Boss who spoke on the retreat with the theme:” Optimizing Operational Availability of NN Fleet” said the acquisition will greatly enhance the Navy’s ability in performing its statutory roles.
According to Vice Admiral Ibas,”The Nigerian Navy has acquired two brand new PV’s, assortial patrol crafts, several IPCs, RHINs and SDBs including the two locally built ones”.
“In addition,the NN has added almost about 200 locally built flat bottom boats for brown water operations.
“In the next few weeks, two more newly built 35 meter SDBs from France would be injected into the NN fleet.
“These acquisitions would greatly enhance NN’s ability to perform its statutory roles.
“Your Excellency,Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,it’s important to note that the expanding of the Nigerian Navy fleet will impose tremendous pressure on available maintenance facilities and capabilities of the NN.
“We may recall the unfortunate state of the NN fleet in the past owing to the near absence of local maintenance industry supports to the fleets when sanctions was placed on the nation.
“As a result,most of these ships in the NN’s inventory at the time, did not attain their service life before their unceremonious decommissioning.
“This resulted in the drastic decline in NN Operational effectiveness.
Vice Admiral Ibas emphasized that necessary measures must be put in place to sustain.
He noted that this informed the selection of the theme of this year’s retreat,”Optimizing Operational Availability of the NN Fleet.”
Vice Admiral further said the 2015 Navy’s retreat has contributed significantly to the decline in criminal activities within the nation’s maritime domain.
On his part,the Delta State Governor,Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa pledged the State Government’s unalloyed support for the Nigerian Navy.
Governor Okowa who was represented by the Secretary to the Delta State Government,Hon.(Barr.) Ovie Agas said the Nigerian Navy with several formations in the State is too strategic to be left unattended to.