June 15, 2024

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Nigerian Navy takes delivery of new landing ship tank, NNS KADA to boost maritime security

Nigerian Navy takes delivery of new landing ship tank, NNS KADA to boost maritime security

The Nigerian Navy on Friday took delivery of its newly acquired Landing Ship Tank- LST 100, NNS KADA, after 56 days maiden voyage from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and port calls to five countries.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwal Gambo who received the ship in company of former Chief of Naval Staff retired Adm. Dele Ezeoba, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Bashir Jamoh and other senior personnel of the force said the new addition was yet another milestone achievement in the Nigerian Navy’s fleet recapitalization effort.

Speaking at the reception ceremony of the vessel at NNS Beecroft parade ground, Apapa Lagos, the CNS said NNS KADA will enhance the Navy’s deterrence capability against maritime crimes and illegalities in the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea as well as supporting the ECOWAS mandate.

He said, “This is a great feat for the Nigerian Navy in its recapitalization efforts. Definitely, it will enhance our presence at sea to curb maritime crimes within our waters and up to the Gulf of Guinea. Furthermore, it will serve as a force multiplier to project power, respond to humanitarian crises and convey relief materials in support of non-kinetic operations within the region and beyond.

“About a year ago, precisely on 17 May 2021, we were gathered here to welcome our State-of-the-art Hydrographic Survey vessel – NNS LANA from France.  A year later, sequel to a colourful Change of Flag Ceremony on 1 April 2022 at Sharjah, in United Arab Emirates, I in company of very senior dignitaries and government officials bided NNS KADA farewell on her homebound voyage.  After riding on waves at sea for 56 days and covering a distance of 8,414.34 nautical miles, we are here to say welcome.

“NNS KADA’s maiden voyage afforded the ship’s company the opportunity to pay port calls in 5 countries, which include Port Duqm in Oman, Port Mombasa in Kenya and Port Cape Town in South Africa.  Others are Port Luanda in Angola and Port Gentil in Gabon.”

These port calls, Gambo said, were in line with the Nigerian Navy’s diplomatic role, and afforded the opportunity to further consolidate the nation’s relations with friendly littoral states and allies.

He commended the enthusiasm and professionalism exhibited by the Commanding Officer and his ships company throughout the voyage, which he said aligns with the Nigerian Navy core values of professionalism, integrity and team work.

While expressing appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for granting necessary approvals for the acquisition of the vessel as well as provision of required logistics for the homebound trip, the Navy Chief disclosed that efforts are also in top gear to secure approval to acquire yet another ship.

“This landing ship tank, ideally, comes in pairs and already we are making efforts and the government is determined to provide a sister for this edifice which will further support our operations,” he said.

Nigerian Navy takes delivery of new landing ship tank, NNS KADA to boost maritime security

Gambo assured that with the removal of Nigeria from piracy prone countries by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the Navy in collaboration with other regional navies and sister agencies will sustain efforts to maintain the feat so far achieved.

He said,” We are not unaware that would be maritime criminals would continue to strategize in performing their crimes and we also on top of our game with regional partners and other stakeholders such as the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) among others toward curbing crimes in our waters.”

Also speaking, a former CNS, retired Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, stressed the need for the government to provide funds for the navy to maintain and sustain the vessel.

“What is important is that the government must understand the import of sustaining this credible platform. This is perhaps about the biggest Landing Ship Tank (LST) in the whole of Africa.

“Having gone round the ship, I have come to terms with the technicalities and high level of equipment that are on board. So, what is important at this time is to consider the requirement for sustainability of this platform and global best practices demand that at least, 40 percent of the cost of the ship be made available for yearly maintenance and that has to be appropriated by the National Assembly otherwise we will have a challenge in terms of sustaining and maintaining this very laudable platform,” he said.

Ezeoba said that another area of importance for maintenance consideration was the consumption of the Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) required to drive the ship.

“The ship requires about 360,000 litres of AGO to drive the ship for about two weeks. So, these are the critical areas of need that the government needs to consider and ensure that they provide these enablers to allow the navy discharge its mandate as it should,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, said the induction of NNS KADA into the service would ensure enhanced operations against crude oil theft, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, smuggling, arms proliferation, sea robbery and piracy and thus better security and safety of the maritime space.

He also stated that NNS KADA replaced the decommissioned Landing Ship Tanks; Nigerian Navy Ship AMBE/OFIOM.


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