Having just taken delivery of a first new tank landing ship, the NNS Kada, the Nigerian Navy has revealed that it will acquire a second such vessel.
The Head of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, speaking to the media on May 24 to mark the 66th Nigerian Navy Week, said efforts were underway to acquire from another LST.
On May 27, the NNS Kada Tank Landing Ship (LST) arrived in Apapa, Lagos, where it was welcomed by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo. He said efforts were being made to acquire a sister ship and “we expect to get another soon”. Damen built the 100-meter-long NNS Kada in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, but it is unclear where the second tank landing ship would come from.
Elaborating on the recapitalization of the fleet, Garba said earlier this month that the Nigerian Navy had made significant progress in this area, which is a top priority under the Chief of Naval Staff, the Vice- Admiral Awwal Gambo. An “aggressive” recapitalization process of the fleet led to the acquisition of several capital ships, fast patrol boats, coastal patrol boats, air assets and the local construction of maritime defense boats (SDBs). The Lagos shipyard has started the construction of the fourth and fifth sea defense boats.
The NNS Lana, a hydrographic vessel, joined the fleet from France in December 2021, while the contract for another 35 meter hydrographic vessel was signed with the French shipbuilder OCEA.
Garba noted that the NNS Kada was handed over to the Nigerian Navy on April 1 at Damen Shipyards in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and is expected to arrive in Nigeria on Friday, May 27, after stops in Kenya, South Africa. , Angola and Gabon.
“Furthermore, the Nigerian Navy has recently signed a contract with Turkish shipyard Dearsan for the construction of two 76 meter High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The Nigerian Navy is also in the process of taking delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to enhance our maritime surveillance/domain awareness assets,” he said.
Garba said the recapitalization of the fleet has helped the Nigerian Navy improve maritime security and economic prosperity in the country. “I am pleased to inform you that there has been a successive decline in reported cases of piracy attacks and theft at sea in Nigeria’s maritime domain, resulting in improved shipping in Nigerian waters with a positive impact on the country’s economy. This noble achievement was complemented by the International Maritime Bureau’s Global Piracy Report of July 14, 2021, which indicated the lowest number of piracy and theft at sea against ships in our countries. waters in 27 years.
Garba added that the latest report from the International Maritime Bureau dated March 3, 2022 showed that Nigeria had left the IMB pirate list. “This means that Nigeria is no longer on the list of hack-prone countries. The consequences are huge and positive for the shipping industry, maritime trade in general and the national economy.
International and local cooperation to combat maritime insecurity and crime was also highlighted by Garba. He said the collaboration led to the arrest of MV Chayanee Naree in October 2021 for transporting 33 kg of cocaine worth $1.5 million from Brazil to Lagos. As part of the European Union-coordinated maritime presence in the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Navy is working with vessels from the European Union navies to patrol the Gulf. “Worth noting is the first ever Joint Event on Enhancing Nigeria-EU Maritime Security Cooperation held in Lagos on 7 April 2022 with a view to cementing the close partnership that has developed between the Nigerian Navy, the European Union and EU Member States operating in the region.”
These efforts are complemented by annual multinational maritime exercises such as Exercise Obangame Express and Exercise Grand African Nemo, sponsored by the United States and France respectively. More recently, the Nigerian Navy has participated in training exercises with the French, Brazilian, British, Pakistani, Italian, Spanish, United States and Canadian navies.
“Similarly, the Nigerian Navy works with all navies in the region under the auspices of the 2013 Yaoundé Code of Conduct, which prioritizes cooperation and information sharing between navies in the Economic Community of West Africa and the Economic Community of Central African States,” Garba said. . “Furthermore, as part of a new framework for addressing insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, named the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), the NN is playing an important and active role as the lead agency responsible for maritime security in Nigeria.
He said the Nigerian Navy has also achieved good results in tackling crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering. The most recent and ongoing operation is Operation Dakarar Da Barawo (meaning “Stop the Thief” in the Hausa language) which was activated on April 1, 2022 in conjunction with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited.
“Relevantly, in seven weeks, the operation has recorded some successes. These include the arrest of 45 suspects, the deactivation of 172 illegal refining sites, 745 metal storage tanks, 567 ovens, 263 pits including the destruction of 50 wooden boats and 14 speedboats. Similarly, Nigerian Navy patrol teams denied oil thieves about 11,781,937 liters of illegally refined AGO (automotive diesel), 20,378,414 liters of crude oil and 367,715 liters of DPK (dual purpose kerosene ). Others are approximately 232,000 liters of PMS (premium motor spirit), 830,000 liters of sludge and 66,000 liters of LPFO (low for fuel oil). These products are worth more than N15,761,536,440.”
Garba concluded his remarks by outlining the details of the International Maritime Conference and Regional Maritime Exercise (IMCREMEX) on May 30-31, which will be attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“IMC 2022 will feature a meeting of African naval leaders and maritime security experts to brainstorm and agree on proposed modalities to meet the requirements of African Union Peace and Security Council Communiqué 1012, in support of the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy,” said Garba. .
“Essentially, the communiqué aims to establish combined maritime task forces among the navies of the Gulf of Guinea states and those along the east/south coasts, as well as a continental maritime advisory council made up of the chiefs of the navies and guards. coasts. For this reason, delegates to this year’s conference are not limited to just the Gulf of Guinea states, but also those from Eastern and Southern African countries. I am also pleased to inform you that several friendly nations have booked ships to participate in the regional exercise alongside ships and aircraft from the Nigerian Navy.