3 Jan 2015

Nigeria acquires new warship

The Nigerian Navy has acquired a warship as part of efforts to tackle the issue of insecurity in the country.

After five weeks and three stops in Trinidad and Tobago, Senegal and Ghana, the warship named NNS Okpabana – an Igala word for thunder – finally berthed in Lagos.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, who received the vessel in Lagos, said that the arrival of the vessel would help the Navy improve its war on maritime crimes.
“It is worthy of note to state that the successes recorded by NNS Thunder in curtailing threats in our maritime domain and the larger Gulf of Guinea region, with the confidence reposed in our country by the USA, that made it possible to acquire NNS Okpabana.

“The addition of this ship into the NN fleet will certainly bolster our zeal to end the menace in our maritime domain and the region, as well as support the regional and global effort to eliminate transnational maritime threats.

“This nation has always requested the navy to do more and with this, the government recognises that there must be needed platform for the navy to do its job well.

“The present government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan took the recapitalisation of fleets as a huge challenge and has invested huge funds through the acquisition of two Off-Shore Patrol Vessels (OPV) from China and this one from USA.

“It is hoped that by the time we take delivery of all, the NN will be better for it,’” Jibrin said.
The unique event, which took place at the Naval dockyard in Lagos, brought together officers from the Nigerian Navy, Army, Police, personnel of the United States Embassy and military and other special guests.

The US Ambassador, James Entwinstle, who was represented by the US Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins, stated that the United States’ support for Nigeria is hinged on its interest in seeing a well policed Gulf of Guinea.
“Many of the regions’ security challenges come from the sea, and this powerful new naval platform will enhance Nigeria’s ability to control the maritime environment.

“Okpabana is the first Nigerian vessel to have a Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (R-MAC) system on board.

“This system will link back to the NN wider R-Mack network and expand NN’s ability to track and identify vessels throughout the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.

Credit: Channels

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