Port Harcourt — The Nigerian Navy on Thursday collaborated with the French Navy and allied partners, to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The collaboration was sealed during the flag off of a special operation tagged ‘Exercise Grand African NEMO 2021 at the Naval jetty in Onne, Rivers State.
Flagging off the special operation, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AZ Gambo, said the exercise involves a multi faceted deployment at sea and onshore of naval assets drawn from the operating commands of the Nigerian Navy.
Gambo said the exercise would strengthened Naval coordination in the fight against maritime insecurity such as piracy, sea robbery, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing amongst others.
Represented by the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obi Egbuchalam, Gambo said the exercise will enhance the policing of Nigeria’s economic zone, as well as demostrate some of the Nigerian Navy capacity to secure the nation’s waterways and Gulf of Guinea.
“Exercise Grand African NEMO 21 will involve a total of 13 ships from three operation commands of the Nigerian Navy, two helicopters and three foreign Naval ships. The exercise will cover anti piracy protection of our facilities as well as search and rescue amongst others.
“I am optimistic that this exercise will add impetus to our aspiration for improved readiness of the Nigerian Navy for maritime operations through training. In addition the exercise will leverage Nigeria’s new anti piracy law to check piracy in our waters.”
The Naval boss also disclosed that the Federal High Court has convicted 10 notorious pirates arrested by the Nigerian Navy on 15th of May 2020.
He added that the International Maritime Bureau recently reported a marked reduction of piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, a feat he attributed to the efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders.