The U.S. on Friday handed over some equipment to the Nigerian Navy, as part of efforts to promote bilateral relations between the two countries.
Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), said that the equipment would further enhance operational efficiency of the Nigerian Navy.
“Today, we are witnessing the ceremonial hand over of Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) equipment and spares to the Nigerian Navy, as part of measures to re-activate and sustain the operations of the RMAC facilities donated to the Navy some years ago.
“This will greatly mitigate the operational deficiencies occasioned by lack of spares in the recent past.
“It is pertinent to state that the introduction of the RMAC facilities in the Nigerian Navy has greatly assisted in enhancing our maritime policing efforts through intelligence-based patrols.
“It reduces the cost of logistics, which hitherto was the case when we go on blind patrols looking for targets of opportunity,” he said.
Daji, who was represented by Rear Adm. Tanko Pani, the Chief Staff Officer, said that in terms of military support, the U.S. had provided support in peacekeeping and simulation centres at the AFCSC, while training Nigerian peacekeeping forces.
He also said the U. S. had supported in boosting human capacity development of personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces via various courses and training in U.S. institutions, among others.
“In the areas of support to the Nigerian Navy, the U.S. has assisted as follows: Transfer of 4 x US CG Buoy Tenders under the transfer of excess defence article from 2003 to 2004.
“Transfer of 2 x USCG Cutters between 2011 and 2014 and establishment of RMAC centres across the 3 operations commands of the Nigerian Navy, amongst others,” he said.
The FOC said that the Nigerian Navy appreciated the continuous support of the U. S. government.
Claire Pierangelo, the U.S. Consular General, said that the U. S. was committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy in its efforts to secure Nigeria’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
“This event signifies the strong and enduring relationship that our nations have. The equipment that we have here today is just part of it, it is part of the regional maritime capability or the Ramack that began in 2006.
“It is aimed at enhancing the Nigerian Navy to monitor and respond to diverse maritime threats in Nigerian waters and in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The U. S. is committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy and its efforts to secure Nigeria’s territorial waters but also the larger Gulf of Guinea.
“You are uniquely placed here and your responsibilities are greater than many of your neighbouring countries,” she said.