May 29, 2017

61st anniversary: Navy now has fleet of 200 platforms — Naval chief

61st anniversary: Navy now has fleet of 200 platforms  — Naval chief

Ibok-Ete Ibas

By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke

Abuja—As the Nigerian Navy marks its 61st anniversary this week, authorities of the force have said its fleet of warships, frigates, seaward defence, going vessels and inshore patrol boats has grown to over 200 platforms.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, who disclosed this at an inter-denominational church service in Abuja, yesterday, said this would enable the Navy take on any security challenge in Nigeria’s maritime domain.

Ibok-Ete Ibas

The church service, which held at the All Saints’ Military Church, Protestant, Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja, had representatives of service chiefs and security heads and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, and other dignitaries in attendance.

In his goodwill message, Vice Admiral Ibas identified growth in personnel from 250 to 25,000 well-trained professionals as one of the achievements recorded so far.

The Naval chief further disclosed that huge resources had been committed to the local construction of a tugboat, two boats of seaward defence class, and an ongoing effort at constructing another of such boats.

According to Ibas, the need to depend less on foreign sources for equipment and other hardware for retrofitting existing platforms that need upgrade necessitated local content initiatives.

He said: “We’ve had a chequered history, no doubt, but clearly our ups overwhelmingly outweigh our downs.

“From nine assortments of riverboats, the Nigerian Navy fleet has grown to over 200 platforms of various configurations and capabilities, including multi-purpose frigates, offshore patrol craft and combat helicopters.”

“Some of these platforms carry with them some of the most advanced equipment, all of which are comprehensively manned and maintained by the Nigerian Navy personnel.”

On personnel, the CNS said:  “From a mere 250 ill-trained individuals, the Navy has grown in strength to almost 25,000 well trained, highly skilled professionals among the ranks of officers and men, in about all requisite specializations.”

The Nigerian Navy is the second of the Armed Forces to be established in 1956, after the Nigerian Army.