The Nigerian Navy said on Thursday that it has put machinery in place to establish three new bases in the Lekki-Epe, Ikorodu and Takwa Bay areas of Lagos State to help checkmate maritime crimes.
The Flag Officer Commanding, (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Fergusson Bobai made the disclosure during the visit of some course participants of German Armed Forces General Staff College (GAFGSC) to the command headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.
According to him, the development, which has been approved by the Naval Headquarters (NHQ), is part of the efforts to curtail rising cases of kidnapping and other maritime crimes bedeviling the region.
He said, “A Forward Operation Base (FOB) would be established around the Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to ensure that all vessels sailing beyond Takwa Bay are monitored.
“The Naval Headquarters has approved a Forward Operation Base (FOB) towards Epe axis, a base at Takwa Bay and one at Ikorodu.
“The importance of the three naval bases within that vicinity is that if you are going to sea, you must pass Takwa Bay.
“Sailing onward, you must pass the Lekki Free Trade Zone; essentially, all the sea routes have been factored in.
“Now, we have to open up these units with patrol boats and maybe in the nearest future with bigger capital ships” he added.
The German Defence Adviser to West Africa (DA), Col. Thomas Brilli-Sawa, said Germany had promised to donate some Epenal boats to the Nigerian Navy, as well as train some of its engineers.
Asked if Germany had plans to assist the navy in refitting Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) ARADU, which was bought in that country over 30 years ago, Brilli-Sawa said a German team had been sent to carry out assessment of the vessel.
He noted however, that Germany was considering the option of assisting the Nigerian Navy to get another capital ship.
The leader of the delegation, Col. Manfred Ertl, said, “We are here to see Africa security architecture.
“Some of these participants have spent one year on the course, with focus on European security structures.
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