A Forty-six metre patrol boat built in China would be delivered to the Nigerian Navy in October 2022, militarynewsng.com can authoritatively report.
Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command confirmed that the vessel which will boost the force’s inventory and help in the fight against pirates in the Gulf of Guinea made the revelation while hosting the Chinese Defence Adviser, told newsmen in his office at the Command’s headquarters in Apapa, that the boat, when received, would be deployed to boost security patrols against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
He emphasized that every effort by the navy to ensure a safe and secure maritime domain is done for the good of all vessels sailing and by extension world trade, and not just for the good of Nigerian-owed vessels.
“What we are doing is to mankind; we are not protecting Nigerian vessels but every single vessel that is sailing within the maritime area. So, what we do, once the place is safe and secure, it means that legal business is in the maritime domain and continue unabated without fear of hindrance by miscreants in the name of piracy,” the FOC West said.
Admiral Wambai noted that the visit of the Defence Attache of the People’s Republic of China, Colonel Lin Wei, signified the strength of friendship both countries and how well they perceive the navy’s efforts in the fight against piracy within the region.
He said that both countries’ friendship had been remarkable for the fact that the navy had acquired some operational vessels from China, which are still being used for patrol operations against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
His words: “Nigeria/China relationship has come a very long way. As we all recall, two of our ships; NNS Centenary and NNS Unity were constructed in China and have been in the service of the Nigerian Navy and been doing very well in the fight against piracy within the Gulf of Guinea.
“Today heralds the time that this relationship is going forward as the Defence Adviser has come in here to work on the modalities that we will receive a 46- metre boat that has been given to us by the Chinese Government.
“So, this goes to show the furtherance of this believe in all that we have been doing. This marks a gesture of friendship that has always been there for us.”
Expressing appreciation for the gesture by the Chinese government, Admiral Wambai said: “We as a navy will continue to appreciate this kind of good gesture as that is what makes us to function appropriately; out there at sea, that has made Nigerian waters to be safe and that has made Nigeria to be delisted from the list of piracy-prone states.”
He said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, would definitely continue to support positive collaborations from friendly nations, just as he appreciates the already existing one.
His words: “…on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, I wish to appreciate this gesture by the Chinese Government. By the time the vessel comes in October, all of you will be gathered here because it would be a big ceremony to appreciate the government of China in supporting Nigeria in keeping our water safe and secure.”
On his part, the Defence Attache of the People’s Republic of China, told newsmen that he was pleased to visit the navy, as they work for a sustained cordial relationship.
“It is my pleasure to visit the Nigerian Navy Western Naval Headquarter. It is for an update to the relationship for the future. I think that both countries will have better relationships,” Lin said.