The latest acquisition of the Nigerian Navy, the NNS LANA, an offshore survey vessel built by OCEA shipyard in France will be a force multiplier in the force’s ability to project naval power for enhanced maritime security in the country and the Gulf of Guinea, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has said.
Admiral Gambo just before the departure of the newest offshore survey vessel and its crew set sail to Nigeria, in a journey expected to last one month.
The naval chief noted with great delight that the acquisition could not have been possible without the support and commitment of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari whom he said, desires the Nigerian Navy to have the requisite capability to meet her constitutional mandate for the nation’s economic prosperity.
The NNS LANA, left OCEA shipyard in France on Friday April 16, 2021, shortly after the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo addressed the ship company. The vessel will visit Port of Lisbon, Las Palmas, Banjul and Tema, Ghana, before arriving Nigeria on May 17, 2021.
Admiral Gambo while speaking to the Ship’s company noted that the foremost desire of every littoral state is to have a fleet with the right mix of platforms to meet its operational objectives.
Thus, he acknowledged that the homebound voyage of NNS LANA is yet another milestone achievement in Nigerian Navy’s fleet recapitalization efforts.
According to Admiral Gambo, the induction of NNS LANA to Nigerian Navy will enhance the Service capacity in the provision of survey services and charting which are crucial to safe navigation for improved maritime security.
Additionally, Vice Admiral Gambo commended the entire NNS LANA ship company for their good conduct since their arrival in France recalling that there has not been any adverse report of any sort. He also applauded them for being very cooperative with Messrs OCEA (the French company that constructed the ship), which has been very instrumental to the completion of the project. The Chief of the Naval Staff also charged them to maintain the good conduct as they proceed on their homebound voyage.
Vice Admiral Gambo also reminded them that the COVID-19 Pandemic is still much around. As such, he employed them to adhere to COVID-19 protocols including extant port administrative procedures/guidelines and to avoid any act capable of tarnishing the image of the Nigerian Navy and the nation in particular.
Furthermore, the Chief of the Naval Staff disclosed that NNS LANA was designed with some shipborne training activities which is intended to further broaden their knowledge and sharpen their skills in the handling of the ship and its systems. He therefore enjoined the ship company to take the training seriously and absorb as much as possible bearing in mind that they have become potential reference point to subsequent ship’s company. He equally reminded them that for the nation to maximize the value of the newly acquired ship for the protection of the maritime environment, they must bring to bare Nigerian Navy core values of professionalism, integrity and teamwork.
Thereafter, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr Modupe Irele in her farewell remarks commended Messrs OCEA for their impressive craftsmanship in the construction of the hydrographic survey vessel and in the process sustaining the cordial relations between Nigeria and France. She added that the ever growing collaboration between Nigerian Navy and Messrs OCEA in the manufacturing of several ships are strong indicators of the increased engagements between Nigeria and France in Economic, Defence and Security Cooperation, among other areas. The Ambassador also commended the Nigerian Navy and Messrs OCEA who despite the challenging period of dealing with difficulties, disruptions and delays caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic overcame these challenges to complete the construction of NNS LANA.
Dr Irele added that the desire shown by Nigeria and France to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as increase foreign investments in current and new areas is a mutually shared objective by President Muhammadu and President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Ambassador, the shared objective has resulted in an increasing level of exchange of visits by both leaders as well as frequent bilateral visits by high level government officials of the 2 countries. Dr Irele concluded by lauding the efforts of the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo towards ensuring the maintenance of maritime security.She hoped that the deployment of NNS LANA will increase the capacity of the Nigerian Navy in promoting foreign trade and commercial activities amongst other things. She equally wished NNS LANA and its crew a safe and healthy passage back home in international waters.