New Telegraph

…’21 African, 17 non-African countries to participate, donate ships’

…as President commission 3 newly- acquired ships, 2 helicopters

The Nigerian Navy is set to “flag off” the Regional Maritime Exercise (REMEX), and the International Maritime Conference (IMC), as part of activities to celebrate its 68th anniversary.

According to the Service, a total of 18 platforms, including ships, boats, and helicopters will be deployed during the operation, which will have navies from Africa, Europe, Asia, and North and South America also participating.

The disclosure was made on Monday in Abuja at a press conference addressed by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan, to herald the celebrations scheduled to be held between Friday, May 24 May and
Saturday, June 1 in Lagos.

The senior officer further revealed that, apart from declaring the conference open, President Bola Tinubu will also commission commission 3 newly-acquired ships, as well as 2 helicopters.

“The high point of this year’s celebration will be the flag-off of the Regional Maritime Exercise and the International Maritime Conference by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu who will be the Special Guest of Honour.

“The REMEX, which is scheduled to hold from Thursday, 30 May – Saturday, 1 June 2024, is an international maritime sea exercise involving navies from Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. The NN will contribute 18 platforms comprising capital ships, boats and helicopters.

“Some of the foreign naval ships participating include Brazilian Navy Ship APA, Cameroonian Navy Ship DIPIKAR, Peoples Liberation Army Navy Ship XU CHANG, French Navy Ship OSV COMMANDANT BIROT, Ghana Navy Ship CHEMLE, United States Ship HERSHEL WOODY WILLIAMS.

“The IMC will take place from 30 – 31 May 24 at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island Lagos. The IMC which aims to catalyse effective cooperation on maritime security across Africa as a key driver for unlocking the continent’s immense Blue Economy potential in line with the vision of the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) has as its theme Promoting the Blue Economy in Africa through International Cooperation on Maritime Security will feature the presentation of 2 topical papers.

“The Conference will host delegations from about 21 African countries, 17 non-African countries and 13 International/regional organisations. Notably, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the French Atlantic Fleet, the Deputy Commander of the Chinese Navy and high-powered delegations from the United Kingdom, and United States as well as some African and European Union countries will be in attendance.

“During the occasion, the President and C-in -C will also commission 3 newly acquired ships and 2 helicopters as well as declare open the International Maritime Exhibition in which international and local maritime security related companies will showcase their products and services”, the COPP said.

He continued: “On the sideline, the Meeting of Gulf of Guinea Heads of Navies and Coast Guards will take place on 31 May 24. The series of activities marking the Navy Week Celebration will be rounded off on 1 Jun 2024 with the commissioning of the International Maritime Institute of Nigeria (IMION) and the Ceremonial Sunset/ Reunion Dinner at NNS QUORRA Apapa and Naval Dockyard Limited Victoria Island respectively.

“Today, the Nigerian Navy has grown from its humble beginning with a handful of coastal boats into a force to be reckoned with, not only in the West African Sub-region but also in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and indeed the entire sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, this Navy Week Celebration, as with others in the past, also serve as a scorecard of the NN’s performance in the service of our dear nation.

“This can only be put in perspective by reviewing the noble achievements of the current CNS, Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, AM. Under the current NN leadership, the NN has attained the highest state of operational readiness in the discharge of its constitutional roles. In particular, the fight against Crude Oil Theft has been a huge success under the auspices of Operation Delta Sanity which was re-launched in January 2024.

“In the 9 months of its existence, the operation has led to the arrest of various suspects and vessels involved in COT. Some of these vessels include MT KALI, MT Sweet Harbour Spirit MT SAISNIL, MV TOKITO, MT VINILLARIS and MT Sweet Miri, among others.

This has impacted positively on Nigeria’s crude oil production. For instance, OPEC Records for the month of April 2024 state that Nigeria’s Crude Oil Exports rose to #1.28m bpd in April from #1.23m bpd in March.

This is in line with the President’s directive to eradicate COT in order to ramp up Nigeria’s oil production and exports.”

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