New Navy Vessels’ll Boost Maritime Security, Economy, Says First Lady

Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Segun James in Lagos

The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has described the acquisition of two new high-endurance offshore patrol vessels for the Nigerian Navy as a show of the President Bola Tinubu administration’s commitment to the safety of Nigeria’s maritime environment.

According to a statement issued by her spokesperson, Busola Kukoyi, First Lady Tinubu who spoke at the launch ceremony in Turkey, said the vessels will significantly boost maritime security and drive economic prosperity through the blue economy.
The two newly launched 76-meter vessels, built by Turkish shipyard Dearsan, are expected to bolster the Navy’s capability to combat piracy, oil theft, illegal fishing and other maritime crimes in Nigeria’s offshore waters.

With their extended endurance and deployment range, the patrol ships will also aid in enforcing regulatory compliance and surveillance over Nigeria’s economic exclusion zone and the Gulf of Guinea.

The Offshore Patrol vessels are both 76.90 meters in length, a beam of 11.90m and can accommodate 47 crew members.
The First Lady commended Dearsan for its “high-quality shipbuilding capability” and expressed optimism that the launch marked the start of greater cooperation between Nigeria and Turkey in areas of defense and economic development.

She said: “The acquisition of the High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels is another feat in the Tinubu administration’s commitment to Nigerian Navy’s Fleet renewed efforts towards a more secured maritime environment for Nigeria’s economic prosperity.”

“As we appreciate the processes that has brought us here today, I want to commend Dearsan Shipyard for the high-quality ship building capability as well as for attaining this milestone, leading to the launching of the second Offshore Patrol Vessel.

“Our gathering here today will undoubtedly strengthen relationship between Nigerian Navy and the shipyard as well as between Nigerian and Turkish governments,” she said.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Mattawalle, expressed optimism that the newly launched vessels would enhance the nation’s maritime sector.

“I attest to the dedication and commitment of the Nigerian Navy not only to secure our territorial waters but also to see an improved blue economy and the impact of these vessels on their activities would be significant,” he said.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Oglala, noted that the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to the welfare of Men of the Nigerian Navy and his resolve to provide all that is needed to enhance their job, would ultimately result in reduced crimes in the maritime domain.

In their remarks the Deputy Minister of Defence, Suay Alpay and the Secretary of Defence, Haluk Gorgun, stated that there is room for more cooperation with Nigeria not only in the area of security but also economic development.

The First Lady, then performed the age long tradition of slipping the ship into water.

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