By Philip Nwosu
The Consul General of Brazil to Nigeria, Ambassador Francisco Carlos Soares Luz, has called for more cooperation between the Nigerian Navy and his country’s navy to enable both countries give a bite to the fight against piracy.
According to Ambassador Luz, fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is important, as the success in the fight will improve the economy of both coastal states and land lock countries.
He said: “At the end, the activities of piracy will raise the cost of products for everyone, especially the landlocked countries. They will have to pay more for those things. Brazil and Nigeria share the Atlantic Ocean as a border. So having our border safe is important for everyone and I think no cost is too expensive to keep the Atlantic Ocean safe.”
Ambassador Luz, who spoke during the visit of the crew of the Brazilian Navy Ship (BNS) Independencia to the Western Naval Command in Lagos, said: “This kind of operations is what we should do often. It will bring our countries together and our relationship has shown the reality in Nigeria and Brazil navies that we have so much in common and we must ensure we make the relationship the same.”
Also the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral. Jason Gbassa said that a recent report of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) indicates skeletal activities in the operations of pirates within the Gulf of Guinea, expressing the readiness of the Nigerian Navy to contain them.
Admiral Gbassa, who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer of the Command, Rear Admiral Habila Zakaria, said the force had engaged pirates in the Gulf of Guinea that the achievement of the navy in that area was possible because of Nigerian Navy’s collaboration with other foreign navies in conducting sea exercises that ultimately improved security at the area.
According to the FOC, the Brazilian Naval Ship (BNS) Independencia also visited the country for a maritime interdiction mission code named ‘GUNEX’ in the Gulf of Guinea. He added: “By and large, the Nigerian Navy has done much to ensure that the maritime environment is deprived of any form of illegalities.
Gbassa said that Nigeria and Brazil had come a long way and that both countries had a lot of bilateral agreements, one of which was in defence.