Nigeria: President Jonathan commissions 4 new Naval ships

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigerian leader, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has said that premium had been placed on improved national security in line with his administration’s Transformation Agenda and "our vision of becoming one of the leading economies in the world".

He gave this indication here Thursday while commissioning four new ships that were recently added to the Nigerian Navy Fleet.

The ships are the Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA, a High Endurance Cutter acquired from the US; Nigerian Navy Ship PROSPERITY, a former Irish Navy fishery patrol boat, acquired purposely for use as a training ship; Nigerian Navy Ship CENTENARY, one of the two offshore patrol vessels procured from China and Nigerian Navy Ship SAGBAMA, which was donated by China.

According to President Jonathan, "The high dependence of the nation’s economy on offshore resources, as well as the enormous potentials of the maritime sector to contribute to our food security and employment generation, makes provision of effective maritime security very imperative. Therefore, the Nigerian Navy, as the lead maritime security agency, deserves all the support it needs, to effectively carry out its statutory roles.

"In this regard, and in spite of other pressing demands, my administration has continued to support the fleet recapitalization objective of the Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan 2010 – 2020, which was formulated to support the realization of the goals of the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda."  

"The four ships being commissioned are part of a total of six ships expected to be commissioned into the Nigerian Navy Fleet in 2015," he said, adding "I am confident that this event represents a furtherance of continued cooperation between Nigeria, the United States of America and China in the area of maritime security.

"It is remarkable to note that the Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA is the sixth ship the Nigerian Navy has acquired from the United States of America since 2002. On the other hand, Nigerian Navy Ship CENTENARY is the first of the two initial acquisitions from China. I am aware that the second vessel is still under construction in China and will be delivered before the end of the year."

The president expressed the desire of this administration to "see more progress in our cooperation, to the mutual benefit of our respective countries".

He said the commissioning ceremony had given him the opportunity to "once again reaffirm my confidence in the competence and commitment of the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy."

On the spate of oil thefts, President Jonathan said he had particularly noted the achievements of the Navy in the fight against oil theft and other maritime crimes.

He reassured the Navy that his administration would not waiver in its support to the on-going capacity building effort, saying, however, "On your part, the government and people of Nigeria will expect judicious and productive use of these assets, to deliver the much desired maritime security."
-0- PANA VAO 19Feb2015

19 february 2015 14:31:10

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