Against the backdrop of the Nigerian Navy’s 61st anniversary celebrations, authorities of the force say its fleet of warships, Frigates, Seaward Defence vessels and inshore patrol boats, have grown to over 200 platforms, enabling the Navy to take on any security challenge in Nigeria’s Maritime domain.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas made this known during an Inter-Denominational church service on Sunday, in celebration of the anniversary.
The church service, which held at the All Saints’ Military Church, Protestant, Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja, had representatives of Service Chiefs and security heads and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, and other dignitaries were in attendance.
In his Goodwill Message, the CNS identified growth in personnel from 250 to 25,000 well-trained professionals, as one of the achievements recorded so far.
The Naval Chief further disclosed that huge resources had been committed to the local construction of a tugboat, two boats of seaward defence class, and an ongoing effort at constructing another of such boats.
According to Ibas, the need to depend less on foreign sources for equipment and other hardware for retrofitting existing platforms that needed upgrade necessitated the local content initiatives.
He said: “We have had a chequered history, no doubt, but clearly our ups overwhelmingly outweigh our downs.
“From 9 assortments of riverboats, the Nigerian Navy fleet has grown to over 200 platforms of various configurations and capabilities including multi-purpose frigates, offshore patrol craft and combat helicopters.
“Some of these platforms carry with them some of the most advanced equipment, all of which are comprehensively manned and maintained by the Nigerian Navy personnel.”
On personnel, the CNS said, “From a mere 250 ill trained individuals, the Navy has grown in strength to almost 25,000 well trained, highly skilled professionals among the ranks of officers and men, in about all requisite specializations.”
The Church Service was attended by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Femi Adesina, representatives of Service Chiefs and heads of security and Para-military organizations, serving and retired senior officers among other dignitaries.
The Nigerian Navy was the second of the Armed Forces to be established in 1956, after the Nigerian Army.
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