GoG Security: Nigerian, Spanish Navies Upscale Collaboration Against criminal threats’. 

In a bis to strengthen international Cooperation towards curbing piracy and other Maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), a Naval warship and crew belonging to the Spanish Navy at the weekend paid a port call to Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command in Lagos

Team Leader of the Spanish delegation, and the Defence Attache, Mr. Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena and Commanding Officer, Spanish Naval Ship MV VIGIA, Lieutenant Commander Javier Garcia, were received by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa.

Speaking during the courtesy call to his office, the FOC WNC noted that the GoG is currently bedeviled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.

He said, “Spain, as well as other nations of the world, have found it necessary to collaborate because of the impact of criminalities on our waters to the trade between our nations, we will do everything within our powers to encourage and to further enhance the relationship and ensure that the two navies work together.

“We hope that while you are here, you will gladly share information/ intelligence with us and let us know how the Nigerian Navy can assist to make your mission easy.

He recalled that “earlier in April, we received SNS FUROR and this is now a repeat which goes a long way to show how Spain values her relationship with Nigeria”.

On his part, the FOC Naval Trainning Command, Rear Admiral Kamarudeen Lawal, solicited opportunities for Nigerian Navy pilots to have comparative training in flight operations.

He said: “If the Spanish Navy can oblige us such opportunity, it will be to a great advantage for the Nigerian Navy. Their visit is coming at a time when the Nigerian Navy is in dire need of training, especially in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.”

He said NAVTRAC has intensified training and retraining of officers and ratings for an efficient Nigerian Navy,  adding that “recently, we graduated 19 Special Boat Services (SBS) operators from our SBS school and it is gratifying to note that nine of those officers and ratings were from Ghana Navy.

“So, on our part, we have been training sister African countries so as to contribute to our fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guniea”.
During the visit, the ship carried out exercises/drills with selected Nigerian Navy Ships in addition to other engagements including visit to the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC).

Emphasizing Spain’s commitment to a secured maritime space, the Ambassador of Spain to Nigeria, Mr Marceleno Ansorena, said this can be achieved through collaboration because of the volume of trade between the two countries.

His words, “About 80 per cent of the trade with Nigeria goes through the Gulf of Guinea, therefore, it is important for us to participate and collaborate with you.

“Training will be one part of the collaboration exercise as well as sharing information which is important to update knowledge on security about the sea and the Spanish Navy vessels.”

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