The Nigerian Navy says it is expecting the delivery of more platforms before the end of 2020 to join her fleet to further boost the Services’ maritime security operations.
Rear Admiral Tariworio Dick, the Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, while giving the Nigerian Navy score card for 2019.
He explained that the Service was expecting these platforms from various manufacturers from within and outside the country
“In 2019 the Nigerian Navy acquired some platform to boost her maritime security operations among which are 20 x Riverine Patrol Boats, 20 x Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and 2 x 25 Man House Boats,” he said.
Dick listed the platforms expected to join the Services’ fleet in 2020 to include, 1 x 60m Hydrographic Survey Ship from Ocea France, 2 x 40m FPBs from Damen Shipyard Vietnam, and 1 x 43m SDB III from Naval Dockyard Limited Lagos.
Others are: 2 x 35m FPBs from Ocean France, 1 x 24m FPB from Ocea France, 4 x Manta Class Boats from Suncraft Malaysia, 4 x 17C –Falcon Boats from Ocea France, and 5 x RHIBs enroute from Suncraft Malaysia, 15 x RHIBs from Suncraft Malaysia.
Also expected are 15 x 8.5m Riverine Patrol Boats from Epenal Group Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt, 9 x 8.5m ~ AW139 from Italy.
Dick noted that the Choke Point management and Control Regime had been instrumental to some of the successes recorded by the Service in 2019.
” For instance, a total of 70 large wooden boats were arrested for involvement in illegalities in 2019 and 463 large wooden boats were destroyed within the same period.
” In contrast, 31 large wooden boats were arrested in 2018 while 176 large wooden boats were destroyed within the same period.
” The increase in the number of wooden boats arrested in 2019 when compared to the records for 2018 is attributable to amongst other things, the improved efficiency of Naval Security Stations (NSS),” he said.
Dick said that In 2019, a total of 378 identified Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) were destroyed by the “Operation River Sweep “.
He said this resulted in the arrest of 62 speed boats and 275 suspects for involvement in either illegal bunkering or smuggling of petroleum products.
Dick explained that the Operation involved air surveillance, insertion of Special Forces by gunboats, pulling down of identified Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) with the use of swamp buggies as well as arrest/destruction of boats and barges found in such locations.
“According to records, from January to December 16, 2019, a total of 16 pirate attacks were reported with 6 successful and 10 unsuccessful.
“This is an improvement in comparison to the records for 2018 where a total of 34 pirate attacks were reported with 9 successful and 25 unsuccessful,” he said.
Dick disclosed that through the assistance of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) systems the Service arrested 40 vessels including 17 fishing vessels for contravening Nigerian Fisheries Act and 25 barges in 2019 in contrast to the arrest of 34 vessels and 11 barges in 2018.
He said the the Service remained committed towards improving security in the nation’s maritime area with notable achievements recorded so far.