History was made on Thursday in Les Sables d’Olonne France with the launching of the first ever purpose built hydrographic survey vessel by the Nigerian Navy. Speaking at the ceremony at the OCEA shipyard, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, represented by Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji informed that the new vessel was conceived as a replacement for the Nigerian Navy survey vessel, NNS LANA which was decommissioned about 10 years ago.
According to the CNS, the launching ceremony was a great significance as it marked a giant stride in the efforts towards actualizing the dreams of not only restoring but enhancing Nigerian Navy’s survey capability. He also emphasized that surveying and charting play a crucial role in ensuring safe navigation as well as delivery of maritime security, hence, the new vessel will not only enhance the safety of Nigeria’s maritime environment but also serve as a critical component of deployment of naval power for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. While stating that the vessel will also play a critical role in protection of maritime resources and preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to the promotion of global maritime commerce, the CNS specially thanked the President, Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the recapitalization of the Nigerian Navy Fleet.
Earlier, Mr Fabrice Weinbach representing Mr Roland Joassard, the CEO of OCEA, said the “LANA” was the result of the excellent cooperation between the Nigerian Navy and OCEA teams and also thanked the Nigerian Embassy staff and the Nigerian Building survey team for their commitment and professionalism. He also remarked that the new ship demonstrates the willingness of Nigeria to improve the knowledge of the country’s waters with a sea proven platform and up-to-date equipment. He also added that the OCEA and Nigerian Navy relations will be strengthened through the supply of integrated logistic support services, including training, to maintain the operational readiness of the crew, the ship “LANA” and her equipment and systems, and the on-site technical assistance.
Also speaking at the occasion, Nigeria’s Ambassador to France, Mrs Modupe Enitan Irele highlighted the significance of the ceremony as a manifestation of good Nigeria – French relations. Construction of the new vessel started in 2018 and the vessel is scheduled to join the NN fleet in 2021.