The NNS Thunder F90 is a sister ship to the NNS Okpabana
by UBONG UKPONG
May 22, 2014
The Nigerian Navy yesterday, said that it has acquired additional eight ships in its fleet, to boost its capacity to police the country’s maritime environment.
At a press briefing in Abuja to mark the 58th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy, the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, disclosed that 38 ships were arrested between January and May this year, for their involvement in various (acts of illegality) in the country’s territorial waters.
The Chief of Naval Staff, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, COPP, Rear Admiral Amin Ikioda, said that eight of the ships currently in the custody of the Navy were Chinese ships, adding that the acquisition of the additional ships would further help in checking and stopping such acts of illegality.
Admiral Jibrin disclosed that the acquisition followed the adopted “double pronged strategy” of the Navy towards achieving the recapitalisation of its fleet, which he said was top priority. “On one hand, ships are being acquired from some friendly countries while on the other hand, the NN is complementing with local construction of ships.
“In this regard, the United States Coast Guard Cutter GALLLATIN was transferred to the NN on May 7, 2014 at Charleston, South Carolina.The ship, which has been renamed NNS OKPABANA,is expected to sail from the United States in the 3rd quarter of the year to join the country’s naval fleet.
“In the same vein, the navy has acquired 2 ×1800-ton offshore patrol vessels, OPVs, on order from China. One of the OPVs, NNS CENTENARY, is expected to join the NN fleet before the end of this year, while about 30 percent of the second one will be constructed in the Nigerian Naval Shipyard, Port Harcourt in partnership with the shipyard in China.
“Furthermore, 5 x K-47 boats currently under construction in the Netherlands will also join the naval fleet before the end of the year”, he said.
He said that the Nigerian Navy had also taken bold step in the local construction of vessels, with the first 31-metre Seaward Defence Boat constructed locally by the Nigerian Navy at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos State and already commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan.