The Nigerian Navy on Monday said it had inducted over 200 boats of various types into the naval platforms in the last two years.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, made the disclosure in Lagos during the inauguration of six fast patrol crafts and eight inflatable boats at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Ibas said the 200 boats of various types were inducted among other recapitalisation attainment within two years, adding that the ocean had become the primary conduit of international trade and central to the global economy.
“Nigeria indeed relies on sea-based resources, particularly oil and gas, as well as maritime-based commerce for survival and sustained national development.
“The nation’s social and economic well-being is intricately linked to the seas, not only for trade, but also how it faces threats to its own security that develop across the seas.
“Our resolve to achieve high growth can be realised only if our maritime frontiers and assets are safe, stable and act as enablers,” he said.
Ibas said that the navy was faced with myriads of potent threats in the maritime environment which was maritime terrorism, resource theft and sabotage of their supporting infrastructure.
“Other notable threats are piracy and sea robbery, which target maritime trade and the economy of the nation.
“The use of unregulated movements at sea for seaborne trafficking in humans, narcotics and arms and the incidents of smuggling are pervasive and remain issues of grave concern.
“In this regard, the Navy must constantly sharpening its capabilities as a multi-dimensional, operationally effective and balanced force capable of countering the full range of maritime challenges across the entire spectrum of conflicts.
“Furthermore, effects are also ongoing toward acquiring more fast patrol vessels for littoral waters up to the Exclusive Economic Zone, while the construction of a hydrographic vessel and landing ship will further reinforce the navy’s regional maritime dominance,” he said.
Ibas said the Nigerian Navy would not have been able to achieve such remarkable progress in its fleet recapitalisation effort without the active support of the Federal Government.