Buhari inaugurates 30 vessels, pledges support for Navy

President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd left); Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); Minister of Defence, Brigadier Gen. Mohammed Dan Ali, rtd. (left) and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibot-Ete Ibas (right); during the commissioning of the newly acquired ships and boats for the Nigerian Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday.

In his first working visit to Lagos since assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pledged continuous support for the Nigerian Navy (NN). He stated this at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, during the inauguration of 30 vessels newly added to the navy’s fleet.

Among the vessels were the second Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) indigenously constructed, NNS KARADUWA, NNS UNITY built to specification in China, a tugboat, UGWU and 27 other backwater boats.

Noting that the nation was in recession, Buhari urged the navy to remain prudent in the management of resources, adding that they should look inwards to construct and improvise some vital operational tools.

The President commended the navy for building two out of the three ships that were commissioned.

At the event were Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Minister for Defence, Mohammed Dan-Ali, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and his Works, Health and Science and Technology counterparts, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Prof. Isaac Adewale and Ogbonnaya Onu respectively.

Others included the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, heads of military, police and other security agencies in Lagos, retired service chiefs, Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Dele Ezeoba and Usman Jibrin, as well as Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, among others.

Buhari said, “It is most fulfilling to note that our own engineers at the Nigerian Navy Dockyard, Lagos and the Naval Shipyard, Port Harcourt are wholly responsible for the building of the Seaward Defence Boat, Nigerian Navy Ship KARADUWA and the Tugboat COMMANDER EDWIN UGWU, respectively. It is also worth noting that NNS UNITY, which is Nigeria’s newest warship, is the second of such acquisitions from the Peoples’ Republic of China.

“The Nigerian Navy had shown great foresight in nurturing the vision for NNS Unity and her sister ships. It is comforting that efforts were not confined to using foreign sources alone, but in mobilising local complements.

“The Federal Government expects no less from you as looking inwards is the way to go amidst a uniquely challenging mix of recession and rising acute security concerns.”

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