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Navy acquires new ships, helicopters

The Authorities of the Nigerian Navy, on Sunday, disclosed that it had acquired three ships and two helicopters to reinforce and fight oil theft particularly…

The Authorities of the Nigerian Navy, on Sunday, disclosed that it had acquired three ships and two helicopters to reinforce and fight oil theft particularly in the Niger-Delta.

The marine force said it would inaugurate them into its inventory on May 30, 2024, adding that the service was also expecting five operational vessels from China and Turkey by the third quarter of the year.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, disclosed this to newsmen when he spoke at the inter-denominational service that was held in Abuja as part of events to mark the 68th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy.

Daily Trust reports that the first patrol vessel was launched in October 2023 before the wife of the President, Oluremi Tinubu, launched the second 76-meter High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessel built by DEARSAN Shipyard in Turkey on April 21.

The naval chief said, “We want to also use this opportunity to commend our efforts, particularly in the area of fleet renewal. On May 30 this year, we are commissioning three more ships and two more helicopters.

“This is in addition to several other OPVs that are coming from different parts of the world. We have two OPVs that are coming from Turkey, which are billed to come in the third quarter of this year; we have three that are coming from China.”

Speaking on steps being taken by the military to build ships locally, Ogalla explained that efforts were on to build and repair ships in the country, adding that this was crucial to the growth of the service and the nation’s blue economy.

He said, “Our local ship-building effort has become a cardinal point of my vision in the Nigerian Navy. This is because we realize that the only way we can grow as a navy is to make sure that we have local content in all our key areas of development.

“Of course, which, you know, shipbuilding is part of it. And also we recognize that shipbuilding and ship repairs will contribute effectively to the overall blue economy, which is one of the agenda of the president’s administration.”

The top military brass, however, urged the personnel in the maritime force to redouble their efforts to achieve more feats in the coming years.

“To this end, I urge every one of us to work hard to redouble our efforts to ensure that we achieve even more in the years ahead. Let us make sure that we have a navy that we will be proud of,” Ogalla added.

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