Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Rtd Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, has said assured that the the Nigerian Navy will be strengthened in order to defend the country’s strategic off-shore oil installations.Inaugurating 16 patrol vessels on Monday in Lagos, Dan-Ali said that the vessels would be deployed to patrol and police key oil installations within the nation’s maritime domain.
He lamented that the activities of sea robbers had exposed Nigeria to be challenged by multi-faceted threats from continental and maritime fronts.
The minister explained that criminalities like piracy, sea robbery and attack on strategic oil installations had complicated the nation’s maritime security environment.
He assured that the Nigerian Government would curb these criminalities capable of affecting the overall wellbeing of the nation.
In his remarks at the event, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said that Navy, said that the navy would continue to maintain an environment conducive for the unhindered conduct of shipping, fishing and offshore exploration and other maritime interests.
He said that his officers and men would continue to maintain their presence at sea to promote the nation’s economic growth and development.
The naval chief assured that the Navy was adequately positioned to provide round the clock protection for sea-based critical national assets and also ensure the security of the country’s sea-lanes.
‘‘The oceans have become the primary conducts of international trade and are central to the global economy.
‘‘The oceans and seabed are increasingly looked upon today as resource providers and critical contributors to national growth and prosperity.
‘‘For Nigeria, her geo-strategical position as a littoral state confers on her the advantage of exploring the sea and its resources for national development,” Ibas said.
He said the threats by sea robbers pose a huge challenge that negates the vast potential of the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea Region in supporting the prosperity and well-being of states and their people.
The ships and boats inaugurated included six Fast Patrol Craft (FPC) and 10 Inflatable Patrol Craft (IPC), two patrol crafts – NNS NGURU and NNS