Defence & Security

‘Nigeria removed from piracy-prone countries’ list’

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor

• Says collaboration with French Naval Ship would build technical strength

Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, has said Nigeria was recently delisted from countries prone to piracy attacks.

Wambai said this when he hosted the visiting French Naval Ship BORDA and its crew weekend at the Headquarters Office of the Naval Base in Apapa, Lagos, adding that the technical collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and the French Naval Ship BORDA, for trainings and Sea passage exercises would enhance the improved security experience in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

He said, “The French Naval Ship BORDA is on a port call, which is customary. Though this is a specialised ship, a hydrographic ship, which is here in fulfilment of technical support to NNS LANA.

“While here, they will work and train together, to continue to build our ability in the hydrographic field. This is the continuation of our collaboration with France. They have been our technical partners, building our ships and training us.

“It marks a remarkable turning point for our collaborative efforts as we continue to seek better times in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Not long ago, Nigeria was delisted from piracy-prone states, and this was possible as a result of our collaborations, not only of Nigerian Navy, but other stakeholders as well. We hope to see more of this kind of visits and hope to go back to the old days when we also pay port calls to foreign nations.”

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In his remark, Commanding Officer of the French Naval Ship – Lt. Commander Pierre – Henry Lavergne, described his experience so far with the Nigerian Navy Ship LANA as very welcoming, saying he looked forward to more engaging activities.

“It is a great pleasure for me and my crew to be in Lagos for the hydrographic cooperation with NNS LANA since four days of being here,” the Commanding Officer said.

Meanwhile, French Defence Attaché, Col. Dujon Guillaume, stated that the first step in the cooperation since the acquisition of NNS LANA from a French company, OCEA, has shown that they would want more engagement with the Nigerian Navy in the future as well.

He said, “Here for some consistent collaboration on hydrography with the NNS LANA. This is the first step in this corporation after the acquisition of NNS LANA from OCEA Company.

“We are looking forward to more cooperation in the future. It is a honour, and France is happy to provide this support to Nigeria, for the development of maritime security and the Blue Economy, on regional perspectives.”

NNS LANA (A499) is designed and purposely built to enable the Navy conduct hydrographic and oceanographic surveys.

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