According to reports, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice-Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas, has said that the induction of another Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Unity, after the NNS Centenary in 2014 will boost the capacity of the Navy to keep surveillance over the nation’s waterways and respond to any threat to the country’s maritime territory.
Admiral Ibas spoke at an event to celebrate the arrival of NNS Unity from the People’s Republic of China held at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island Lagos, on Friday.
“The ship is best fitted to tackle piracy in our waters, when we talked about illegal fishing and unregulated and unreported fishing that takes place in our waters, so with this addition we are able to contain all the sharp practices at sea, also to extend surveillance to all other areas like the Gulf of Guinea.”
He said before the “induction of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) into the Nigerian Navy fleet, the vast resources and potentials in the Gulf of Guinean was being undermined by multifaceted, domestic and cross border threats and challenges.”
According to him, the development resulted in constrained investment and economic prospect, growing crime and potentially adverse political consequences.
He added that the development led crimes and illegalities, such as crude oil theft and illegal bunkering which has persisted around the Niger Delta.
He said: “While attacks on ships have been prevalent across the entire maritime area of the Gulf of Guinea, for many years now, efforts to checkmate these illegalities in their evolving nature were largely unsuccessful because of dearth of chips.”