The United States Government has pegged the total amount spent on the intensive training for personnel of the Joint
Maritime Security Training Centre (JMSTC), the purchase of six 25-feet light patrol boats and spare parts at about $1million.
The United States Consulate General, Jeffery Hawkins, disclosed this at the graduation ceremony of 25 personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN) at the JMSTC and the commissioning of two additional speed patrol boats which held at Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos.
The JMSTC was initiated as a capacity building assistance from United Kingdom Government to train Nigerian security personnel in the fields of maritime security, littoral and riverine operations in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
The Consul general said the gesture was part of the US's longstanding relationship with Nigeria and its quest to collaborate in securing the nation's maritime domain.
Nigeria took delivery of the six boats from the US which was facilitated by its embassy through the foreign military Sales (FMS) programme.
He said the American training team had tutored 25 personnel of the Nigerian Navy (5 officers and 20 ratings) in basic boat handling, basic outboard engine maintenance and trouble shooting of outboard engines, among others.
In his response, the guest of honour, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, said the purpose of the centre is to provide a focal point for maritime security training activities across the Armed Forces as well as law enforcement agencies in Nigeria in order to assist in enhancing their effectiveness in conducting joint littoral, riverine and maritime operations.
The CDS, who was represented by the Commandant, Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Center (NAFRC), Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi, said plans are on going to make the center a regional training centre of excellence for the West African Sub-region.
He said, "Our taking delivery of the boats shows the commitment of the Nigerian Government in curbing maritime crimes, growing threat of terrorism and enhancing maritime security within Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea through training of its armed forces with state of the art equipment."