The Indian Navy Ship (INS) SUMEDHA on Friday paid a port call to Nigeria to improve existing bilateral relations as well as security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Mustapha Hassan, said that such visits were good for improving friendship, cooperation and interoperability between the two countries.
FOC, West, Rear Adm. Mustapha Hassan presenting a gift to the INS SUMEDHA Captain, Cdr. MC Chandeep.
Hassan said this while welcoming the crew of INS SUMEDHA to the Western Naval Command Headquarters, Apapa, Lagos State.
The FOC said that such visitation aligned with the vision of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, towards improving security in Nigerias’ maritime domain.
“We have had a beautiful relationship with India which has spanned well over five decades.
“The Nigerian Navy in particular has had good relationship in terms of training support, hardware exchanges, port visits and exercises.
“The collaboration between the two countries is good for enhancing national security and in this case, security in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
Hassan said that the Nigerian Navy and the Indian Navy would be having a joint exercise called the Passex which would further consolidate on security gains in the Gulf of Guinea.
The FOC receiving a gift from the Indian Defense Attachè.
Also speaking, the Indian Defense Attachè to Nigeria, Col. Romi Singh Legha, said that the visit was to further increase interoperability between the two navies and improve anti piracy operations.
“Nigerian Navy primarily along with other navies in the region in the Gulf of Guinea has been instrumental in controlling piracy in the last two years.
“To further this success, the INS SUMEDHA has joined to help in this operations which the Nigerian Navy is carrying out,” he said.
Legha said that there would be cross deck visitations across ships where officers of both countries would be visiting each other’s ships and conducting training onboard.
“Also, while INS SUMEDHA is here, we will be having a small exercise with Nigerian Navy vessels,” the Defense Attachè said.