Enhancing Maritime Security Through Nigerian-Chinese Navy Bilateral Agreement
By Kabir Abdulsalam
Recently, as part of its efforts to entrench the safety of Nigerian Maritime Sector, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has donated some military hardwares including a 46-meter Patrol boat to the Nigerian Army and its Navy counterpart.
The equipment are expected to be deployed in fighting insecurity and other forms of maritime crimes along Nigeria’s water ways.
This opportunity has opened floodgate for Nigerian Navy, hitherto, when the Chinese Ambassador, Cui Jianchun signed a bilateral intellectual agreement to find lasting solutions to the security challenges disturbing the two countries.
While speaking at the signing ceremony of the agreement back in July Mr. Jianchin said: “Nigeria have issues of insecurity, we need peace, therefore, we must work together to find resolutions to these problems.
“Maintaining a bilateral relations to revitalize defense-industrial base and a compelling naval narrative for Nigeria is necessary so as to surmount the existential security challenges.”
Speaking at the official handover ceremony in Lagos, the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd.), said the gesture was in line with the current efforts of the federal government towards supporting the military to combat insecurity, adding that the move has been impactful and yielding tremendous successes.
“With the support and donation of equipment and platforms from strategic partners like the People’s Republic of China, capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be further improved. These will no doubt boost socio-economic development for enhanced national security as well as regional stability,” Magashi added.
In his part, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo CFR, said the relationship with the Chinese governments which started years ago aimed at enhancing capability of the Nigerian Navy to bolster presence within the maritime domain has been tremendous.
He recalled that as part of the fleet recapitalisation efforts through the support of the President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Navy acquired 2 x 95.6m Offshore Patrol Vessels from China.
“These are NNS CENTENARY and UNITY, which joined the Nigerian Navy Fleet in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Sequel to these acquisitions, a 46m Patrol Vessel, NNS SAGBAMA was donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to support Nigerian Navy operations.
“I am happy to state that these vessels and others in the fleet have enhanced Nigerian Navy’s maritime security operations efforts, which significantly reduced piracy within Nigeria’s maritime domain as well as the Gulf of Guinea and eventually culminated in delisting Nigeria from the list of Piracy Prone countries this year by the International Maritime Bureau”, Gambo stated.
At the event, The Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Godfrey Onyema, noted that the donation of the 46 metre patrol boat and other military equipment attest to the cordial relationship between both nations.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador revealed that two other countries are planning to commence the production of military hardwares in Nigeria.
He added that the local production of military equipment would greatly enhance the performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces in its quest to end terrorism and other form of criminalities across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com