Model of a warship in view
Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, Chief of the Naval Staff (left) and a high official of the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Limited conclude ‘strategic plans’ to move the Nigerian Navy forward
Photo Credit: NIGERIAN NAVY
Good news for us, Nigerians
Snippets reaching me backstage suggest that owing to the abysmally poor implementation of FG budgets in general and of MoD projects in particular(sometimes as low as 30%) during the course of these past few years, we have a few billions of dollars in unspent funds brought forward and available to be spent on acquisitions. There is said to be a flurry of activities ongoing at the services HQs with expats coming and going everyday. A LOT of our much-favoured CTCOIN operational gear is in the loop.
Additionally, the Nigerian Navy have just signed an MoU with the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company. The specifics of the deal are still under wraps but it involves the acquisition/construction of major platforms in the Offshore Patrol Vessel/light frigate category.
Finally and through an unexpected means, someone who appears to be a trade competitor of the Pipavav Shipyard in India and who sent in a comment from Gao, also in India, all but confirmed the existence of a developing contract between the Nigerian Navy/FG and PIPAVAV.
It was not as if one had any doubts about that though, having carried out two levels of checks with people in the know in the USA and in A-List global defense media, while Defenceweb also alluded to the fact that Nigeria are almost certainly the customers in a US$420+ million deal for a total of four Pipavav warships, two ships first with an option on a further two units.
Anyway, here is what was sent to me from Gao in India last Friday
“Pipavav is taking Indian Navy & now Nigerian Navy & Government of Nigeria for ride. This picture is from Goa Shipyard Naval OPV which has been delivered.
Better be careful of this Pipavav Shipyard. Pipavav is yet to start work on any Naval ship.”
end of quote
Be that as it may, we have commenced the hunt for many more details pertaining to these matters at home and abroad, taking advantage of the enormous fund of goodwill which we are able to tap into.
We might need to remind the powers that be as follows
- eighteen sparingly used Su-30K jets are available to be snapped up in the Russo-Belarussian orbit. The entire haul as is can be grabbed for US$180m. For an additional outlay of US$5m apiece, they can be upgraded to contemporary standards. It is an unbeatable deal really and one which the NAF can greatly
- the NAF can snap up, with upgrades to boot, eight surplus units of Mi-17V5 transport helicopters and nine surplus units of Mi-24V attack helicopters for a total of US$85 million.
- approach the Chinese for the sale of two surplus Type 53H2 frigates for the force multiplier effect and to strengthen our presence at sea while new oceangoing platforms are being constructed.