Lagos — The vessels are to be fitted with communication and radar equipment. Sources said the vessels were being ordered to meet the challenging needs of the menace of Niger Delta militancy as well as provide adequate security for the oil rich Gulf of Guinea.
Already, the Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS) Vice Admiral Ganiu Adekeye left the country weekend for Singapore, Malaysia and Australia to inspect the extent of works on some platforms and armoured-built helicopters being manufactured for the Nigerian Navy. The Flag Officer (FOC) commanding Western Naval command, Real Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim who received the US Navy entourage yesterday at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft Apapa, described the gesture as timely.
He stressed that the US had always been of immense assistance to Nigeria adding that the three day training could not have come at a better time. He assured that "the national maritime environment would now be better secured after the training and delivery of the expected vessels".
Continuing, the naval boss said, "you know how much we have gone through in providing security for the gulf of guinea particularly in our own area and you know the resources of the gulf of guinea attracts a lot of international concern. More so, personnel of most countries especially those of our white brothers you know have at various instance been abducted in Niger Delta; these equipment are to enhance our capacity to cope with the demanded security and protection of these activities in our waters."
Reacting, the leader of the entourage who doubles as the commanding officer African Partnership Station (APS) Captain Nowell said no one country can tackle her maritime security alone saying, "no one country can try to tackle its maritime problems alone; so we think it is a global maritime partnership and we are prepared to work togther and that is why are proud to be here working in partnership with Nigeria.
The Africa Partnership Station is a collective effort designed to help the increase in maritime safety and security."