One of the OCEA FPB 72 Mk.II coastal patrol craft commissioned today in Lagos
(Photo Credit: Mer et Marine)
11 February, 2013
The Nigerian Navy today at the Apapa Naval Base of the Western Naval Command commissioned a total of five brand new units of 24 metre patrol craft into service – three French-built OCEA and two Israeli-built Shaldag patrol craft.
NTA and Channels Television news reports monitored by Beegeagle’s Blog showed that dignitaries at the event included the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of State(Defence) Mrs Olusola Obada, Chairman Senate Committee on the Navy Senator Chris Anyanwu, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim and the Inspector General of Police, Mr MD Abubakar.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Dele Jerome Ezeoba said that the vessels would be deployed to combat the menace of illegal bunkering and piracy at sea. He later took the ministers on a guided tour of one of the vessels.
Responding to a request by the naval chief for assistance in the quest to acquire more naval vessels, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala promised that the Federal Government would look into their request subject to a reduction in the incidence of oil theft.
For her part, Senator Chris Anyanwu welcomed the induction of the small ships but stressed that the acquisitions do not go far enough. She emphasized the fact that most of the consequential incidents of bunkering and piracy take place far out to sea and that for the Navy to effectively police those outer extremities of the Exclusive Economic Zone, the service require large oceangoing platforms.
The dignitaries were thereafter taken on a cruise onboard an OCEA FPB Mk.II patrol craft with the pennant number “P175”