The Nigerian Navy said it would inaugurate 20 new patrol boats for service in the Niger Delta to curb militancy and boost maritime security.
In a statement issued by the Acting Director of Naval Information, Capt. Suleiman Dahun, said that the 20 boats would be inaugurated at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Warri-Delta.
Dahun confirmed that the newly-acquired patrol boats were expected to be deployed to boost the Navy’s ongoing operations in tackling maritime crimes, particularly crude oil theft, illegal refining of crude oil in the maritime domain.
“The Navy wishes to assure legitimate stakeholders operating in the maritime environment of the readiness of the service to provide efficient security for unhindered socio-economic activities towards national prosperity,” he said.
Giving details, he said, “the boats comprise of 16 locally-built Epenal boats and four Rigid Hull Inflatable boats imported from South Africa.
“The induction of the boats is part of the key priorities of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas’ strategic directives for year 2017, which is aimed at boosting the Nigerian Naval operations.
“Accordingly, the service appreciates the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, towards the recapitalisation efforts of the Nigerian Navy,” he said.