US donates $1m, six boats in aid of Nigerian maritime security

09 March 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The United States of America has given Nigeria six 25-feet light patrol boats and spare parts valued at $1 million.

They came through the United States Government’s Joint Maritime Security Training Centre, JMSTC, established to boost maritime security in Nigeria.

The training centre was specifically initiated as a capacity building assistance from US government to train Nigerian security personnel, in conjunction with the Nigerian Armed Forces, in the area of maritime security, and littoral and riverine operations.

At the graduation ceremony of 25 personnel of the Nigerian Navy at the
JMSTC and the commissioning of two additional speed patrol boats at Navy
Town, Ojo, Lagos, United States Consulate General, Jeffery Hawkins, said the assistance from his government was part of the US’s longstanding relationship with Nigeria and its contribution to collaboration in securing the nation’s maritime domain.

The delivery of the six boats from the US was facilitated by its embassy through the Foreign Military Sales, FMS, programme.

He added that the American training team had tutored 25 personnel of the Nigerian Navy (five officers and 20 ratings) in basic boat handling, basic outboard engine maintenance and trouble shooting of outboard engines, among others.

Responding, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, said the purpose of the centre was to provide a focal point to the maritime security training activities across the Armed Forces as well as law enforcement agencies in Nigeria in order to assist in enhancing their effectiveness in conducting joint littoral, riverine and maritime operations.

Ibrahim who was represented by Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi, the Commandant, Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, NAFRC, in Oshodi, Lagos, announce that plans were on to make the centre a regional training centre of excellence for the West African Sub-region.

“Taking delivery of the boats shows the commitment of the Nigerian Government in curbing maritime crimes, growing threat of terrorism and enhancing maritime security within the country and the Gulf of Guinea through training of its armed forces with state of the art equipment,” he said.

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