BY PHILIP NWOSU
The newly acquired Offshore survey vessel of the Nigerian Navy would be a revenue generation assets for the force, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has said.
Vice Admiral Gambo spoke while receiving the new vessel and its crew after a month voyage from OCEA shipyard in France to Nigeria.
Admiral Gambo said that the vessel will be revenue generation assets because the Nigerian Hydrographer who is also the Hydrographer of the Navy, had been given approval to produce navigation charts for Nigeria and some countries in West and Central Africa.
He said that before now such charts were produced for Nigerian by the United Kingdom hydrographer, but now the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has to pay for such charts to be produced by the force.
The naval Chief commended the conduct of the crew of NNS LANA while in France and the visit to Portugal, Spain, Gambia and Ghana, explaining that conduct of the ships company align with the core value of professionalism, integrity and team work of the force.
He said that at the inception of the Nigerian Navy with limited capacity to operate within the country’s territorial waters, the service was saddled with hydrographic survey and that the hydrographic survey duties were then performed by two vessels, the PATHFINDER and PETREL.
The acquisition of survey vessel by the Nigerian Navy , he said, has highlighted the importance of hydrographic capability to maritime operations, pointing out that the induction of the NNS LANA into NN fleet would enhance the capacity of the force to conduct hydrographic survey and provide charting services for safe navigation as well as delivery of maritime security.
The Chief of Naval Staff said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has embraced the Blue Economy Initiative in line with the United Nations sustainable Development Goal 14 agenda, explaining that this entails the sustainable exploration and exploitation of vast resources in the Nation’s maritime environment.
Admiral Gambo said that the provision of quality hydrographic service is key to the development of the various sectors of the Blue Economy, adding that “the acquisition of this offshore Survey vessel is an affirmation of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment towards the nation’s economic development.”
Earlier the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command , Rear Admiral Jasson Gbassa said that the absence of a hydrographic vessel had limited the force in the area of ensuring safe navigation, adding that elementary maritime studies had issued a truism that the sea is not a friend to any one, and that it is a means where by nations who abide by its rules profit and prosper.
He said that in seafaring, safety is key and that all the potentials that man stands to benefit by traversing the sea amount to nothing without safety, adding that NNS LANA is one of the asset of the force that will ensure safety.
He said that with the NNS LANA joining the fleet, the maritime industry is assured of safety within the maritime space