General News

Navy begins battle against pirates, others

To reinforce its intolerance to piracy, oil theft and other maritime illegalities, the Nigerian Navy has begun its annual Chief of the Naval Staff’s (CNS) sea inspection.

The exercise, codenamed: Still Waters took off at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island on Monday.  Twelve  naval ships, two helicopters and a detachment of the service’s elite squad, Special Boat Service (SBS) were deployed across the country’s maritime domain to flush out remnants of pirates, resource thieves and smugglers.

It will also avail the navy the opportunity to access the operational readiness of its platforms and operatives in stamping out all forms of illegalities within the entire stretch of the country’s maritime space.

Agencies such as the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Ministry of Justice sent representatives to participate in the exercise.

Kicking off the exercise, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said the sea inspection was conceived to enhance the security of Nigeria’s maritime domain and sustain the desired level of competencies of the NN.

Vice Admiral Ibas, who was represented by the Chief of Naval Safety and Standard, Rear Admiral Kamaldeen Lawal, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the necessary support, adding that putting the exercise together required significant logistics outlay.

On the objectives of the exercise, he said: “It is also aimed at assessing the operational state and readiness of the NN fleet, with focus on anti-piracy, anti-crude oil theft and anti-smuggling operations, among others.

“The NN has made significant progress in the fight against all forms of criminalities in our maritime environment. The sustenance of the gains made so far is critical to our national security, given the dynamic nature of the threats in the maritime domain.

“This Exercise is therefore conceived to enhance the proficiency of NN personnel in the discharge of Nigerian Navy’s constitutional roles. This is in line with my mission to develop a naval force that is well trained, organised and highly motivated to discharge its constitutional roles professionally and efficiently for the defence of Nigeria in ensuring her economic prosperity.”

The Flag Officer Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral Oladele Daji said assets were procured from all three operational commands, Naval Training Command; adequate support received from the Logistics Command and autonomous units for the exercise.

“In the course of the operations, criminal hideouts would be raided and suspected criminals arrested ashore and at sea handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation and possible persecution.

“It is my firm belief that this will give additional impetus to our overall night time combat experiences in order to ensure that the Nigerian Navy remains relevant not only in the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria but also to other contributions to the nation’s economic prosperity.

“For this year’s sea inspection, a total of 12 Nigerian Navy Ships, two helicopters and elements of the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service would participate. The ships involved are NNS OKAPBANA, NNS PROSPERITY, NNS NGURU, NNS OKU, NNS KARADUA, NNS ANDONI, NNS OSUN, NNS DORINA, NNS DOMADI, NNS OSE, Tug DOLPHIN RIMA AND TUG DOLPHIN MIRA.’’

“The ships will conduct several exercises which include anti-piracy operations, protection of oil and gas facilities, fleet manoeuvres, communication drills, vessel board search and seizure, search and rescue amongst others.”

“We will continue to partner all relevant security agencies and law enforcement agencies to stamp out criminalities in our maritime domain,” he said.


The Nation



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