The Nigerian Navy has received 50 assault gunboats and drones on Wednesday in order to combat crime and criminality in the country’s territorial seas.
The boats and equipment donated by Aiteo Global Group are 21 gunboats, 14 operational patrol boats, seven houseboats, and four airboats.
Others are four high-speed interception inshore patrol boats, long-range surveillance drones, and six high-definition cameras.
Receiving the items in Port Harcourt, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the vehicles and equipment would be deployed to the creeks to fight oil theft, piracy and sea robbery.
According to him, the donation is the manifestation of months of collaboration with critical maritime stakeholders to support naval operations.
“The delivery of these platforms and assets aligns with the provisions of the Nigerian Navy 2021-2030 strategic plans on inter-agency and sub-regional cooperation.
“This is a milestone in our collaborative engagement with corporate maritime stakeholders to rid the nation’s maritime environment of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.
“To this end, these platforms will enhance the navy maritime security architecture and bolster our maritime security operations effort,” he said.
Gambo commended Aiteo for the donations and sought support of other corporate organisations, to enable the navy to deploy more gunboats and halt the growing criminal activities in Nembe Creek Trunkline area of Bayelsa.
Also speaking, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.), said the nation’s maritime environment accounted for about 70 per cent of Federal Government revenue.
He said that government was concerned about rising activities of oil thieves, illegal bunkers and pipeline vandals that constitute a great threat to the nation’s revenue generation.
“More worrisome is the fact that sustained oil pipeline vandalism has led to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, resulting in agitations in the region.
“This underscores the need to employ a robust protection and defensive measure that would encompass the surveillance, monitoring and prompt interdiction of potential threats,” he added.
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