Maritime security; NN acquires over 173 assorted boats to patrol waters

The Nigerian Navy has said that over 173 assorted boats have been acquired by the service to enable them effectively police the Gulf of Guinea and other riverline areas to safe guard and boost the nation's maritime economy.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas who made this known during a press briefing to commence activities to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Nigerian Navy added that the boats would go a long way in bolstering NN capacity to police and carry out survey of Nigeria's maritime environment. The Chief of Naval Staff who was represented by the Chief of Naval Transformation, Rear Admiral Be Groy Ibe Enwo said that there has been enhanced surveillance as at least 42 vessels have been arrested for involvement in various illegalities in Nigeria's maritime domain and undergoing various stages of investigations and prosecutions

He explained that such policing operations are specifically aimed at checking crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, piracy/sea robbery and illegal fishing among others. According to him due to the enhanced surveillance the attacks on the maritime environment has reduced drastically, saying, "we have done very well I must say because in 2016 for instance we had 76 reported attacks while in 2017 we had 34 and this year the attacks is reducing, because our ability to counter this attacks has improved due to the various exercises we engage in to build capacity of the men". He continued, "This has been made possible through upgrade of available maritime surveillance equipment, which includes the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) and Falcon Eye systems.

" Accordingly, the NN has 9 RMAC sites established at Badagry, Bonny, Naval Base Apapa, Ibaka, Brass, FOB FORMOSO, NHQ as well as the Headquarters of the Eastern and Central Naval Commands. Similarly, the NN is working towards increasing its Falcon Eye system from 9 sites at present to 12. "When completed, these facilities will enable the NN expand its surveillance coverage of Nigeria's maritime domain, with more effective check on illegalities.

Speaking on the activities to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Nigerian Navy, Chief of Naval staff said they would include the commissioning of some projects in the Commands. "On Saturday 26 May 18, the Commands will carry out Medical Rhapsody. The Rhapsody is a grassroot social and medical outreach programme usually held in rural communities where there is naval presence or where the Nigerian Navy is having a major event.

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