By Yahaya Isah
The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Thursday in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, inaugurated the first ever purpose built hydrographic survey vessel.
The Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Suleman Dahun, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
The Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, said the new vessel was conceived as a replacement for NNS LANA, which was decommissioned about 10 years ago.
Ibas, who was represented by Rear Adm. Abraham Adaji, said this at a ceremony at the OCEA Shipyard.
According to the CNS, the ceremony marked a giant stride in the efforts toward actualising the dreams of not only restoring but enhancing the service survey capability.
He also emphasised that surveying and charting play a crucial role in ensuring safe navigation and delivery of maritime security.
Ibas added that the new vessel would enhance the safety of Nigeria’s maritime environment as well as serve as a critical component of deployment of naval power for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The CNS stated that the vessel would also play a critical role in the protection of maritime resources and preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to the promotion of global maritime commerce.
Ibas, however, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the recapitalisation of the NN Fleet.
Earlier, Mr Fabrice Weinbach, who represented Mr Roland Joassard, the CEO of OCEA, said the “LANA” was the result of the excellent cooperation between the NN and OCEA teams.
Joassard thanked the Nigerian Embassy members of staff and the Nigerian Building survey team for their commitment and professionalism.
He noted that the new ship demonstrated the willingness of Nigeria to improve the knowledge of the country’s waters with a sea proven platform and up-to-date equipment.
Joassard added that the OCEA and NN relations would be strengthened through the supply of integrated logistic support services, including training, to maintain the operational readiness of the crew, the ship “LANA”.
“As well as its equipment and systems and the on-site technical assistance.”
Also, Nigeria’s Ambassador to France, Mrs Modupe Irele, highlighted the significance of the ceremony as a manifestation of good Nigeria – French relations.
She noted that the construction of the vessel started in 2018 and was scheduled to join the NN fleet in 2021.