Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Nigeria’s Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has given the assurance that the Nigerian Navy will continue to maintain relations with its partners to sustain the gains recorded in securing the Gulf of Guinea.
Vice Admiral Ibas spoke while playing host to the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano Pontesilli, at Naval Headquarters on Wednesday, stating that there was close collaboration between the Gulf of Guinea region navies towards stemming the tide of recent incidences of insecurity in the region.
According to a statement by Naval Spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun, Vice Admiral Ibas noted that in the last four years, the Navy has reduced the incidences of illegalities, maritime insecurity and piracy in the maritime space and within the Gulf of Guinea as efforts have also been intensified towards checking these crimes with positive results.
Vice Admiral Ibas said that the cooperation of international partners through exercises like the recently concluded Exercise Grand African Nemo will help improve the safety of the region’s maritime environment as well as boost economic activities.
He also gave the assurance that the Nigerian Navy is open to exploring other avenues in the areas of training and capacity building for its sailors in hydrography as well as technical expertise in the operationalization and maintenance of the Leonardo helicopters manufactured by an Italian multinational company.
The Italian Ambassador stated that he was at the Naval Headquarters to introduce the new Italian Defence Attaché to Nigeria, Colonel Michele Devastato, to the CNS.
He said that Italy was favourably disposed to further cooperation in anti-trafficking and maritime security operations in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to the ambassador, the visit was also to intimate the CNS of the successful completion of Exercise Grand African Nemo and that the participating European frigates were currently docking in Tema in Ghana.
The ambassador added that the frigates would move back to the Gulf of Guinea and remain there till the middle of December in order to consolidate on the successes of the exercise.
-0- PANA MON/MA 15Oct2020