Defence Heaquarters inducts four locally manufactured ballistic gunboats - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Defence Heaquarters inducts four locally manufactured ballistic gunboats


JOS - The Defence Headquarters has inaugurated four ballistic gunboats locally manufactured in Rivers State to boost operations against oil theft, sea robberies and piracy.


The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, who inducted the gunboats on Monday evening, said that they were built by the Naval Shipyard Limited (NSL), Port Harcourt.


He said the new platforms would provide protection for troops patrolling the nation’s maritime environment to prevent internal and external threats.


Irabor said: “Unarguably, Nigeria’s maritime environment is a reservoir of natural resources, including oil and gas that constitute the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.


“So, the protection of these resources is a priority for the Federal Government to sustain socio-economic activities and enhancement of peace and stability of the Niger Delta.


“At the core of our commitment is the provision of adequate logistics support to our troops deployed in the region and across the country,” he said.


Irabor said the inauguration was a reaffirmation of the Armed Forces’ resolve to clear all illegalities at the nation’s maritime space.


He said: “So, this goes as a warning to all recalcitrant elements posing threats to peace and security of our maritime space that we are taking the war to them.


“The Defence Headquarters shall not relent in providing the needed resources to Operation Delta Safe, to ensure the security of the Niger Delta”.


He said the headquarters was desirous of developing the nation’s military-industrial complex capability to meet its local defence needs and avoid overdependence on foreign military technology.


He said: “We took this decision to wean our country from over-dependence on foreign military technology; boost our local technology base and conserve foreign exchange.


“I want to see an Armed Force of Nigeria that is capable of sustaining itself to a reasonable extent in terms of military hardware for land, maritime and even air operations”.


Irabor promised that the defence headquarters would soon award another five units of armoured gunboats to the shipyard, to boost local production and improve naval presence at the waterways.


In his remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Awwal Gambo said the NSL had the requisite manpower and expertise to construct ships, boats, barges and houseboats, among others.


He said the NSL, like the Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos, also rendered support services in the repairs and maintenance of platforms in the nation’s fleet.


He said: “So, the construction of these semi ballistic gunboats is yet another milestone achievement by the NSL in the provision of necessary support to the ongoing efforts at combating maritime threats.


“The gunboats will bolster the operational capacity of the Joint Task Force SS Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta area.


“The engagement of NSL aligns with the Federal Government’s agenda of encouraging local content towards developing indigenous capacity, hence reducing dependency on external vendors,” he said.


Gambo said the navy would soon take delivery of a 43 metres Seaward Defence Boat III built by the naval dockyard in Lagos.

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