Navy has attained highest state of operational readiness – Chief

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Adm. Joseph Akpan, says the Navy has attained the highest state of operational readiness in the discharge of its constitutional roles.

Akpan said this while briefing newsmen on the forthcoming 68th Anniversary Celebrations 2024 of the Nigeria Navy (NN) tagged, ‘Navy Week’ on Monday in Abuja.

He said the Navy under the current Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, had achieved huge success in the fight against Crude Oil Theft through Operation Delta Sanity.

According to him, nine months after re-launching the operation, it has led to the arrest of various suspects and vessels involved in crude oil theft.

“Some of these vessels include MT Kali, MT Sweet Harbour Spirit, MT Saisnil, MV Tokito, MT Vinillaris and MT Sweet Miri, among others.

“This has impacted positively on Nigeria’s crude oil production.

“For instance, OPEC’s Records for April stated that Nigeria’s crude oil exports rose to 1.28 million bpd from 1.23 million bpd in March.

“This is in line with the president’s directive to eradicate crude oil theft in order to ramp up Nigeria’s oil production and exports,” he said.

Akpan said the Navy had in line with its Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy, continued to support land operations in all the geo-political zones of the country.

He added that NN had also provided all year-round situation awareness of Nigeria’s maritime domain, extending to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

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This, he said, was through its Maritime Domain Awareness Facilities, which enabled early detection and swift response to incidences within the maritime environment.

According to him, this has ensured that Nigeria maintains its zero piracy status in the International Maritime Bureau piracy rating.

In terms of fleet renewal, Akpan said the NN had taken delivery of various platforms such as offshore survey vessel, two 32m FPBs, and two Helicopters, adding that two 76m OPVs were expected from Turkey later in the year.

He highlighted the activities lined up for the event to include the flag-off of the Regional Maritime (REMEX) and International Maritime Conference to be graced by President Bola Tinubu.

According to him, the REMEX, which is scheduled to hold from May 30 to June 1, is an international maritime sea exercise involving navies from Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America.

“The NN will contribute 18 platforms comprising capital ships, boats and helicopters.

“Some of the foreign naval ships participating include,  Brazilian Navy Ship APA, Cameroonian Navy Ship Dipikar, Peoples Liberation Army Navy Ship XU Chang, French Navy Ship OSV Commandant Birot, Ghana Navy Ship Chemle, United States Ship Hershel Woody Williams.

“The conference is aimed at catalysing effective cooperation on maritime security across Africa as a key driver for unlocking the continent’s immense Blue Economy potential in line with the vision of the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS).

It has as its theme: “Promoting the Blue Economy in Africa through International Cooperation on Maritime Security” and delegations from about 21 African countries, 17 non-African countries and 13 International/regional organisations.

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“The series of activities marking the Navy Week Celebration will be rounded off on June 1, with the inauguration of the International Maritime Institute of Nigeria (IMION).

Also there will be Ceremonial Sunset/Reunion Dinner at NNS Quorra Apapa and Naval Dockyard Limited Victoria Island respectively,” he added. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko

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