Pictured in Saint Nazaire, France on August 30th 2013, this FPB 98 Mk.II patrol craft is the fourth OCEA boat constructed for the Nigerian Navy since 2012, including three other 24 metre FPB 72 Mk.II platforms which were commissioned into service in February 2013.
PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPSPOTTING
24 April, 2014
The Nigerian Navy (NN) has made a case for a special court for the speedy prosecution of alleged sea criminals. Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin made the call in Lagos after the inauguration of a patrol boat, NNS DORINA donated by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
Vice Admiral Jibrin said the justice delivery system at the moment was making the navy pay for the lapses of others,adding that the force’s account is garnished by the court for ships held beyond reasonable time.
“The NN is still pleading with appropriate authorities to ensure that criminals arrested are timely and completely prosecuted. This will help tremendously to deter and reduce significantly, the number of maritime crimes. “You know the legal system we operate in Nigeria today is such that people must be given fair hearing. But along the line, some people abuse these privileges and waste other people’s time, hence, creating challenges in the dispensation of justice.
“So, what we are asking for is the establishment of specials courts where criminals caught at the maritime domain will be speedily tried and convicted. This is because the current situation has serious impact on the financial burden of the NN. “On daily basis for ships that are kept beyond reasonable time, NN’s account are garnished and so, we pay for the illegalities of others,” said Jibrin.
While commending the NPA for donating DORINA (32m) and two 17m boats to the navy, Jibrin said the kind gesture will promote economic growth and national development. “It should serve as a great morale booster or catalyst to encourage other agencies of government to adopt same pragmatic approach to jointly solve national problems.
Acknowledging that the nation’s maritime space was being threatened by crude oil theft,unreported and unregulated fishing, proliferation of arms, piracy, among others, the CNS however noted that these illegal activities were decreasing especially around the Lagos waters.
“Nevertheless, the criminals are not giving up and their sympathisers within and outside Nigeria are not helping matters, therefore, one of the best options for the days ahead is the ability of the NN to deploy tactical forces and maintaining them at sea for sustained operations regularly.
“This further explains the need for projection of force in Nigeria’s maritime area and by extension the Gulf of Guinea. This can only be achieved with the availability of sophisticated surveillance systems, boats, ships and helicopters, all of which are capital projects that, in most cases, are beyond NN budget.
“It becomes self explanatory and undoubtedly that the NN could only optimise its operations with the support of local and international partners who share common beliefs, goals and interests,” said Jibrin.
In his keynote address, the Minister for Defence, Gen. Aliyu Gusau Mohammed reiterated government’s commitment to accord top priority to security, adding that it was one of the pillars of the administration’s transformation agenda. Represented by the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Gusau urged the boat’s crew commanded by Commander Mohammed Muye, to make appreciable impact in the war against illegality in the nation’s maritime domain.
Built in France last year, NNS DORINA has a length of 32 metres and waterline of 27m. Its beam overall is 6.3m and depth main deck, 3.10m;the boat has a maximum draft of 1.14m, crew of 14men and maximum speed of 30 knots.
The boat, which arrived Lagos on November 24, 2013 and was handed over to the Navy in January carries a 20mm remotely operated gun at the fore deck; 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) at the upper deck and 12.7mm Machine gun at the aft deck