FG Commends Nigerian Navy For Its Patronage Of Local Manufacturers


Men of the Nigerian Navy on parade

The Federal Government has appluaded the Nigerian Navy for buying gunboats and other military hardware from local manufacturers.

The Minister of Defence, Retired Brig Gen Mansur Dan-Ali, gave the commendation at the inauguration of Course One intakes of the Naval War College in Ubima, Rivers on Friday.

He said the navy had in 2016 took delivery of several sea assets and platforms through its “fleet recapitalization programme’’.

“Aside the commissioning into service of new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), NNS Unity and NNS Karaduwa, sourced from China, other sea assets are produced locally.

“The sea assets built locally by the Nigerian Navy engineers include several Seaward Defence Boats, and a Tugboat, Commander Edwin Ugwu, which shows progress made in local technological efforts.

“Additionally, the navy also sourced a great number of boats from local manufacturers to beef of its fleet in line with the Federal Government’s call for local patronage,’’ he said.

Dan-Ali said the navy equally refitted and overhauled some of its vessels and machinery with focus to combating illegal activities in the nation’s maritime domain.

The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari was passionate about transforming the navy to a 21st century fighting force that would meet emerging threats.

Dan-Ali said that Buhari also approved the establishment of the Naval War College, Ubima and two others across the country.

“The college will develop senior naval leaders and equivalents from other services as operational level commanders with thorough appreciation of complex national security problems.

“The war college will prepare them to make sound decisions in the application of maritime force as a policy option,’’ he said.

Also, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice-Adm Ibok-Ete Ibas, said the War College would equip senior officers with practical knowledge and skills to meet emerging threats.

He listed the threats to include sea piracy and robbery; hijack and kidnap; crude oil theft and illegal bunkering; illegal fishing; trafficking in humans; small arms; and illicit drug among others.

Ibas said that particularly worrisome was the proliferation of small arms and light weapons that were illegally imported or smuggled through the sea and creeks.

“To this end the course content will promote higher operational level thinking; creative innovation; in-depth analysis and rigorous war-gaming to provide solutions to the nation’s maritime surety challenges.

“Participants will be exposed to skills that would enhance joint maritime operations; inter-agency cooperation and international collaboration to secure the nation’s maritime environment,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 15 senior officers from the Nigerian Navy, Army and Air Force were admitted into the college.

They are expected to undergo six months training at the college inaugurated on May 31, 2017.

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