President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday commissioned a seaward defence boat NNS Oji locally made in Nigeria by men of the Nigerian navy and a helicopter on Thursday in Lagos.
NNS Oji, built by engineers of the Nigerian Navy is the third of its series to be indigenously built at the Naval Dockyard Limited after NNS Adoni and NNS Karaduwa were built in 2016.
Buhari also commissioned six newly acquired ships, including NNS Lana, Kano, Ikenne, Aba, Sokoto and Osun, 111 boats and one helicopter, charging all naval personnel to maintain professionalism and ensure good use of the newly built and acquired vessels including NNS Lana, Kano, Ikenne, Aba, Sokoto and Osun.
Speaking at the event, which also marks the keel-laying ceremony for the construction of Boat-IV and Boat-V, President Buhari said the new inductions to the naval fleet would boost their capability in securing Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“We should note that we are in a critical period where our country is faced with a serious decline in our revenue and the security challenges we are facing,” he said.
‘‘The present realities, therefore, call for prudent resource management, innovativeness, accountability and careful maintenance.
‘‘I wish to reiterate that despite these challenges, our administration is very determined to ensure that the Navy is well supported to achieve its statutory responsibilities.
‘‘Let me assure you that the Government will continue to support the ideals of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of its constitutional duties. God bless the Nigerian Navy, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Onward Together.”
While commending the efforts of the navy in their fight against maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea, Buhari added that he believed the ships would bolster the service in securing Nigeria’s maritime environment.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said the commissioning of NNS OJI and others was a manifestation of the Federal Government’s commitment to maintaining a well-equipped navy that Nigerians would be proud of.
He stated that NNS Lana, a hydrographic ship received from its maiden voyage from France to Nigeria on 17 May 21, would be involved in the hydrographic survey of the nation’s territorial waters towards ensuring safety of navigation within her waterways while SDB III, Inshore Patrol Crafts (IPC) and Fast Patrol Boats (FPB) which includes NNS ABA, NNS KANO, NNS IKENNE, NNS SOKOTO and NNS OSUN will be deployed for surveillance and patrol duties within the nation’s waters.
He said: “These efforts are geared towards enhancing the performance of our constitutional role regarding hydrographic survey and policing of our waters.
“Invariably, the induction of these platforms into the NN fleet will lead to further decline in criminal activities in our Maritime Domain. I would like to assure you all that these assets will be adequately maintained to sustain our maritime security operations.”