Panafrican News Agency

British govt. pledges support for regional peace in West Africa

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The British government has pledged its continuous support to enhance maritime security and development within the West African region, so as to enhance peace, security and stability in the area, according to British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Lloyd.

“We want to support ECOWAS and its member states as they seek to make their cooperation more effective, but it goes beyond maritime security, because the objective of the average Nigerian, Ghanaian or Senegalese is to prosper," Lloyd told journalists in Lagos during a briefing aboard the British Warship, HMS Dauntless.

He said it was imperative for peace and security within the sub-region to guarantee a free flow of trade, business and investments which will lead to desire development.

The ship is the second of the six Type 45 Destroyers which form part of the surface fleet in the modern Royal Navy.

It is designed to provide the fleets primary defence against attacks from the air and it represents a step change in capability as the most advanced warship in the world.

HMS Dauntless left the United Kingdom in April on its first tour of Africa, after it was built. It has visited Cape Verde, Senegal, Ghana, Cote’dIvoire, before berthing in Nigeria.

It will later sail to South Africa, the Falkland Islands, the Caribbean through the Eastern Coastal states to the United States before returning to the United Kingdom in seven months time.

The ship is made up of five main departments - Warfare, logistics, executive, weapons engineering and marine engineering.

The ship, which cost one billion pounds, took British builders two to three years to build and it is the most advanced Anti-Air Warfare Vessel in the world.

During it staying in Nigeria, the crew will organise training programmes and share working experience with the Nigerian Navy.

According to the ship Captain, Will Warrender, “We have a fairly lengthened training programme over the next three days. We will have members of the Nigerian Navy coming on board to participate in the training programme. This will give them the opportunity to see in terms of boarding operations, sea safety, search and rescue and very wide spectrum of operations we are expected to perform”.

The occasion was also used to launch the Great campaign that is utilising the unprecedented global attention on Britain during 2012 to promote the country as a world–class destination for business, investment and tourism.

Britain is hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, all of which have attracted global attention to the country.

Lloyd said London was ready to host the world, stressing that the Olympic games venues were completed on time and within budget.

He said the greatest challenge was how to deal with the expectations of the millions of visitors expected at the games.

The campaign is focused on areas such as: Trade and Investment, Innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, technology, knowledge, green, tourisms, heritage, sports, shopping, music and country side.
-0- PANA SB/VAO 18June2012