By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Nigerian Navy, yesterday, said it had acquired 179 high speed boats in the last one year to tackle insecurity in the Nigerian maritime environment.
Six of the boats, which are ocean fast patrol brands, recently acquired from France, are billed to be launched in Nigerian waters after formal commissioning that is expected soon.
The Navy, which briefed the media in Abuja, through Chief of Naval Transformation, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Begroy Ibe-Enwo, also disclosed that a total of 42 vessels were arrested in connection with oil theft and other unwholesome practices in the Nigerian maritime domain.
The briefing, he explained, was to acquaint the public with the focus of the Nigerian Navy and its activities, especially those programmed to mark the 62nd anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Navy expected to take place between May 23 and June 1.
Rear Admiral Ibe-Enwo said: ”The Nigerian Navy recently acquired six OCEA Fast Patrol Boats from France, which will be commissioned soon. It is my great pleasure to inform you that concomitantly, the Nigerian Navy also acquired a total of 173 assorted boats, including Epenal Boats, Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, and Hydrographic Survey Boats in the last one year.
“These boats have gone a long way in bolstering Nigerian Navy capacity to police and carry out survey of Nigeria’s maritime environment.”
On the arrested vessels, he said: ”Available records show that in the last one year, the NN has sustained aggressive patrol within the nation’s maritime environment covering over 22,000 hours.
“In the process, at least 42 vessels have been arrested for involvement in various illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain and undergoing various stages of investigations and prosecutions.”