President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commended the Nigerian Navy for building two of its three newly acquired ships locally.
The President while commissioning the ships in Lagos also pledged his administration’s continuous support to Military.
The three ships are Nigerian Navy Ship UNITY, Nigerian Navy Ship KARADUWA and Nigerian Navy Tugboat COMMANDER EDWIN UGWU.
According to a statement by the president’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina, Buhari expressed delight at the development which he said was highly commendable.
The statement explained that the Nigerian Navy Ship UNITY was built in China, while the KARADUWA as well as the Nigerian Navy Tugboat COMMANDER EDWIN UGWU were constructed in Nigeria.
“It is most fulfilling to note that our own engineers at the Nigerian Navy Dockyard, Lagos and the Naval Shipyard, Port Harcourt are wholly responsible for the building of the Seaward Defence Boat, Nigerian Navy Ship KARADUWA and the Tugboat COMMANDER EDWIN UGWU, respectively.
“It is also worth noting that NNS UNITY, which is Nigeria’s newest warship, is the second of such acquisitions from the Peoples’ Republic of China.” Buhari said.
Speaking more on the feat, the president posited that the Nigerian Navy had shown great foresight in nurturing vision for the NNS Unity and her sister ships, noting that it was comforting that efforts were not confined to using foreign sources alone, but in mobilising local complements.
“The Federal Government expects no less from you as looking inwards is the way to go amidst a uniquely challenging mix of recession and rising acute security concerns, ” he added.
Buhari urged more probity and re-dedication to patriotism by the Nigerian Navy, just as he tasked personnel to be more aware of their diplomatic and leadership role in West Africa Sub region and on global stage.
“The prevailing situation is not new given the intimate connections between economic prosperity and security. For a littoral state with huge dependence on her offshore resources, maritime security is vital to the nation’s well-being.
“Today you are afforded increased defence capacity. This empowerment also enhances your role as instruments of diplomacy and leadership in the region and credible standing on the global stage,” he said.
The president commended the Navy’s impressive strides in area of continued fight against maritime security threats like piracy, oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism and support for fight against terrorism in Northeast.
He said healthy and growing diplomatic relations with China had been most beneficial to Nigeria, recalling that the Chinese Government had earlier donated an offshore patrol boat to the Navy at time of taking delivery of the sister ship of Nigerian Navy Unity in 2015.
“I cannot but commend the business dependability of China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company Limited, the builders of these Offshore Patrol Vessels for seeing to a conclusive and successful execution of the contracts.
“In the same vein, I enjoin their local partners to share in this commendation for their efforts at local facilitation,” he said.
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