Commanding Officer, Spanish Navy, Lt-Cdr. Tanago De La Lastra, said on Friday that robbery and kidnapping were the major challenges facing naval officers on Nigerian waterways rather than piracy. Lastra said this when he paid an official visit to officers and ratings of the Western Naval Command, Lagos. The commander commended the Nigerian Navy, and described its officers and ratings as professionals who were capable of providing security not only within its territorial integrity, but to the entire gulf. “The security situation at the Gulf of Guinea is improving as piracy, sea robbery and kidnapping is declining, “ he said. Apart from Nigeria, Lastra said that his team had visited Somalia, Angola, Mozambique, Cameroon and South Africa. Lastra said that their visit to Nigeria would strengthen the relationships between the two countries, especially in areas of training of officers. The Operational Officer of the Western Naval Command, Real Adm. Henry Babalola, said that Nigeria was ready to partner with any navy for the safe keep of international waters. Babalola stressed that the security of the nation's waters remained paramount to the Nigerian navy and the government.
The the Spanish ship, which berthed at the Naval Base, Apapa, on Jan. 10, is expected to have departed on Jan. 13.