The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, on Friday said that the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) KADA would further improve security around tthe Gulf of Guniea and within Nigeria’s maritime domain.
Gambo gave the assurance during the induction of the NNS KADA into the Nigerian Navy fleet at NNS BEECROFT, Apapa, Lagos State.
The NNS KADA is a Landing Ship Tank that was built at Albwardy Damen Shipyard Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
The CNS said that in May 2021, the Nigerian Navy welcomed the Nigerian hydrographic ship, NNS LANA, into its fleet from France and a year later, NNS KADA is being added to the fleet.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the necessary approvals for the acquisition of this man-of-war as well as the provision of required logistics for the home bound trip,” the CNS said.
“I am grateful to God for granting the ship and its crew a safe passage,” he said.
Gambo said that the induction of NNS KADA into the Nigerian Navy fleet would enhance deterrence capability against maritime crimes and illegalities within the nation’s maritime domain and around the Gulf of Guniea.
“Furthermore, the vessel will seve as a port multiplier to project power, respond to humanitarian crises and convey relief materials in support of non-kinetic operations within the region and beyond.
“This is another great feat for the Nigerian Navy recapitalisation effort beacuse NNS KADA will boost the navy’s capability in support of the ECOWAS mandate,” he said.
The CNS said that NNS KADA would also help in humanitarian relief services which could be rendered by the Nigerian Navy to assist in the sea lift of our troops and those of their sister agencies.
“When operating with the Army and the Airforce, we have the helicopter landing deck which will enhance our operations.
“This landing ship tank, ideally, comes in pairs and efforts are already in progress by the government to provide a sister for this edifice which will further support our operations,” he said.
Gambo also said that the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) had in 2021 delisted Nigeria from piracy prone countries.
He said: “Maritime crimes are planned on land and executed at sea so with the collective efforts of our regional navies, it will assist in further curbing piracy.
“Therefore, we must continue to sustain efforts to maintain the feat so far achieved because would-be maritime criminals will continue to restrategise in performing their crimes.
“We also are 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, a former CNS, retired Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, said that it was necessary for the government to understand the importance of sustaining such a credible platform.
“This is currently the biggest Landing Ship Tank (LST) in the whole of Africa and global best practices demand that at least, 40 percent of the cost of the ship be made available for yearly maintenance.
“This 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 Automative Gas Oil (AGO) required to drive the ship.
“The ship requires about 360,000 litres of AGO to sail for about two weeks so, the government needs to ensure that they provide these enablers to allow the navy discharge its mandate as it should,” he said.
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