Buhari Inaugurates Locally-Built Boats to Strengthen Defence

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By Adedapo Adesanya

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated a locally-built Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) 111 in Lagos State to boost the nation’s water territories.

According to a statement by his presidential aide, Mr Femi Adesina, the vessel was inaugurated on Thursday and was built by NNS Oji, the third of its series to be built by the Nigerian Navy.

President Buhari during the event noted that the new inductions to the Naval fleet would increase the agency’s capacity in securing the nation’s maritime domain.

‘‘We should note that we are in a critical period where our country is faced with a serious decline in our revenue and the security challenges we are facing,” Mr Buhari added, urging the personnel to make good use of the platforms as well as maintain professionalism.

‘‘The present realities, therefore, call for prudent resource management, innovativeness, accountability, and careful maintenance. I wish to reiterate that despite these challenges, our administration is very determined to ensure that the Navy is well supported to achieve its statutory responsibilities.

“Let me assure you that the Government will continue to support the ideals of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of its constitutional duties. God bless the Nigerian Navy, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Onward Together,” he further said.

Mr Buhari further said that the Nigerian Navy is a major contributor to the country’s economy.

The President, according to the statement, also lauded the Nigerian Navy for keeping a steady course in its local content development drive, also restated the Federal Government’s resolve to equip the agency.

‘‘I commend the business dependability of Messrs OCEA Shipyard – France, the builders of our Navy’s first-ever purpose-built Offshore Survey Vessel for a conclusive and successful execution of the contract.

“Local partners should share in this commendation for their efforts at local facilitation as outlined in the Government’s local content policy,” he said.

While acknowledging the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in securing Nigeria’s vast oil and gas industry, he said the Navy is a major contributor to the nation’s economic development.

“Arrests of those involved in illegalities have yielded results as some pirates, illegal bunkering syndicates, pipeline vandals and other miscreants have been convicted during this year,” Mr Buhari added.

“Such successes were made possible through the enforcement of our new anti-piracy law on Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.

“Furthermore, the provision of the new policy directives by the current administration of the Navy codified in such documents as the Nigerian Navy Strategic Plan ‪2021-2030‬; the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive 2021-5 and the Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy have given the Service credible guidelines and leverage for improved operational efficiency,” the President stated.

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