By Evelyn Usman
The Nigerian Navy fleet yesterday, received a boost in its fight against piracy and other maritime crime, with the acquisition of a warship, named the Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Centenary, an Offshore Patrol Vessel OPV.
The vessel which was constructed by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Limited Shipyard, berthed at the NN dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos and was received by the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin.
Receiving the vessel, Vice Admiral Jibrin, boasted that the addition of the OPV to the NN fleet would enhance the NN capacity to execute her constitutional roles which included the war against maritime crimes such as arms proliferation, crude oil theft, smuggling and piracy, among others, as well as open a new vista in Nigeria-China relations.
Noting that effective maritime security was a requirement for the economic well being of Nigeria in view of her dependence on the sea, the CNS therefore lauded president Goodluck Jonathan’s support to the fleet recapitalization pillar of the NN transformation plan for the period of 2010-2020, adding that the arrival of NNS Centenary was an attestation to his resolve to emplace a strong and virile navy capable of protecting the nation’s maritime interest against all forms of threats.