Nigerian Navy seeks more assistance from US govt

The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Tuesday requested for more concessions in the purchase of Excess Defence Articles and other maritime security hardwares from the United States of America government.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, made the plea at the opening ceremony of Exercise OBANGAME Express 2014, the final planning conference held in Lagos.

Jibrin urged the US to expand its current training support to the West African sub-region to cover a wider area of human capacity development, as well as the number of beneficiaries.

He noted that the US government and its allies had been making concerted efforts to enhance the capability of the Golf of Guinea nations to monitor and protect their territorial waters.

Others include the protection of the various exclusive economic zones from all forms of illegalities.

“Many countries in the sub-region have benefitted from the US facilitated maritime domain awareness facilities, as well as Excess Defence Article acquisitions.

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“We have been able to use the capacity so acquired in improving security within our maritime domain in particular and the wider Gulf of Guinea maritime area.

“These efforts entailed a three-pronged strategy of improving the maritime domain awareness capability of concerned nations and enhancing the maritime interdiction capabilities of our maritime forces.

“We have also tried to inculcate the spirit of interagency and sub-regional cooperation among maritime forces and the concerned countries respectively.

“The exercise provides a veritable opportunity to assess progress being made along the three legs supporting the objective of improved maritime security for the sub-region,” he said.

Jibrin urged the exercise planners and delegates to aggregate the lessons from these recent engagements and design a realistic exercise that would help a fair assessment of the extent of progress.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the conference, the Exercise Director, Captain Nancy Lacore, said 22 countries would participate in the exercise billed for April.

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