By Egufe Yafugborhi
Nigerian Navy blue has acquired 250 boats several, several Offshore Patrol Vessels and Seaward Defence Boats in sustained fortification of its fleet to tackle oil theft plus other maritime crimes in the Niger Delta.
Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, revealed this Saturday in Onne Rivers state as Review Officer at the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning associated with 200 Cadet Officers at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne.
The CDS said, “Nigerian Navy has matched intent with practical steps, evident by ongoing fleet expansion programme that has led to acquisition of several Offshore Patrol Vessels, Seaward Defence Boats and induction of over 250 Riverine Patrol Boats.
“There has equally been substantial infrastructural and manpower development as well as forging of strategic collaborations with regional and more advanced navies. These efforts are targeted at enhancing the Navy’s capacity to effectively secure the nation. ”
He added that “In addition to assisting sister services in North East operations against Boko Haram insurgents, Nigerian Navy blue has continued to spearhead internal security operations within the Niger Delta against militants, pirates, operators of illegal refineries plus oil thieves.
“Significant successes have been achieved by the Navy, alone or within collaboration along with other protection forces in curtailing excesses of these miscreants. Maintaining these successes will definitely be tasking and requires developing appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude on-the-job onboard and ashore and also through pragmatic training in all naval training institutions.
To the newly commissioned officers, he said, “I urge you to justify the huge resources committed to your training and your personal sacrifices to make the Nigerian Navy proud. One way you can do this will be by drawing from the knowledge and competence gained from the College for your future assignments”
He commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, for his efforts in repositioning the Service inside the areas of training and facilities.