The Nigerian Navy will take delivery of two warships in 2021 in an effort to boost operations in the nation’s territorial waters.
Sileranda Lassa, Flag Officer Commanding Logistics Command Oghara, Delta, made this known on Thursday at the inauguration of newly-built staff quarters at Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder’s base in Port Harcourt.
The quarters include a block of 10-studio flats for officers, a block of 40-room arrival hall for ratings and a three-bedroom apartment for chief boatswain’s mate.
Mr Lassa said that acquisition of the warships, equipped with new navigational systems, was part of ongoing efforts to renew the naval fleet for improved maritime security operations.
“We are expecting some ships, including the Landing Shifter and Survey ships, in 2021, as part of the evolution currently taking place in the Nigerian Navy.
“The ships are quite expensive but sophisticated, state-of-art weaponry that is just being evolved in certain other climes.
“We have had tremendous support from the federal government, including the legislative arm, to acquire these assets,” he said.
Mr Lassa said that although 2020 had been challenging, the navy took delivery of some platforms to aid its fight against piracy and other maritime crimes.
“Acquisition of ships is not done overnight. The ones we received in 2020 had been planned for a year or two years ago.
“The ships are expensive; we, as personnel, must be able to take care of these assets that are coming in.
“We hope that more ships will come into service, considering the security challenges the country is facing as well as manpower that is increasing by the day,” he said.
Mr Lassa said that the newly-built quarters were part of strategic objectives identified in the Revised-Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan 2011 to 2020.
According to him, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Ibok Ete-Ibas, adopted the plan for implementation to positively impact operational efficiency and personnel welfare.
“Indeed, the completed blocks will not only ameliorate the accommodation shortage in NNS Pathfinder but also ensure that personnel of various cadres are properly quartered.
“This is part of the evolution of the Nigerian Navy in terms of fleet renewal, manpower development and organisation and building of infrastructure, including jetties and barracks.
“This gives a fair idea of the transformational milestone that has taken place in the service within the last five years,” he said.