Nigeria, French Navies Strengthen Partnership to Tackle Maritime Crime in Gulf of Guinea

25 June 2021

In a bid to curb maritime crimes at sea, particularly around the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) waters, the Nigerian Navy (NN) and its French counterpart recently strengthened its partnership.

This partnership was strengthened after French Navy Ship Commandant Bouan paid a visit to its Nigeria counterpart and was received at the Western Naval Command (WNC).

Over the years, both navies have collaborated in the fight to counter piracy, crude oil theft, and other maritime crimes in the GoG waters, and essentially furthering the bilateral relations of both nations.

The Commanding Officer, French Navy Ship Commandant Bouan, Lieutenant General Commander Benoit Renie said the essence of the collaboration was to enhance bilateral relations which would in turn improve economic value in the country.

According to him, the French Ship has been visiting Nigeria since 2019, which reinforces its existing partnership with Nigeria and France.

He said during the visit, both nations are expected to work together to increase maritime security within and around the Gulf of Guinea by involving in exercise and trainings.

He said: "As you can see, the relationship between France and Nigeria is very deep. We have been able to collaborate together with Nigeria to improve security."

Also speaking, the Defence Attaché of France to Nigeria, Colonel Nicholas Rambaud, reiterated the mission of France to strengthen their peaceful co-existence, which he noted would further deepen the existing relationship for better progress.

He also commended the efforts of the NN, adding that they have proved their proficiency, and thus can be adjudged the best in the West African coast.

Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding, WNC, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, pointed out that the presence of the ship within the GoG shows the strong ties between both navies.

The FOC, who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer, WNC, Rear Admiral Halilu Duka Zakaria, said the presence of the French Navy in Nigeria waters would provide a synergy between both French and English speaking West African nations to fight crimes on the sea.

He said: "The presence of the ship within the Gulf of Guinea only goes to show the collaboration the Nigerian Navy has with France.

" One of the Strategic Guidance of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, is international collaboration and this visit goes to show the international collaboration we have with navies in other countries."

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