Nigeria is set to boost its coastal and regional waters security with the acquisition of a new warship,
According to the spokesman for the navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Change of Flag Ceremony was held in preparation for the ship’s journey to Nigeria, which would include port visits to Oman, Kenya, South Africa, Angola, and Gabon.
This happened even though the NNS KADA is expected to arrive in Nigeria on May 27, 2022.
In his address at the ceremony, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the foremost desire of every littoral state was to have a fleet with the right mix of platforms necessary for naval power protection in support of national and regional stability.
He acknowledged that the homebound voyage of NNS KADA was yet another milestone achievement in Nigerian Navy’s fleet recapitalisation efforts, coming at a time the nation was committed to the sustainable development of its blue economy.
The naval chief believes the recent commencement of the indigenous survey and charting of Nigeria’s offshore waters by the navy’s Survey Ship NNS LANA, as well as the addition of NNS KADA, will no doubt improve maritime safety and security of shipping on Nigerian waters and facilitate the general well-being of Nigerians and maritime trade in general.
He said NNS KADA would further enhance the Nigerian Navy’s deterrence capability against maritime crimes and illegalities within the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea for legitimate socio-economic activities to thrive.
Admiral Gambo added that the vessel would serve as a force multiplier in the navy’s ability to project power, respond to crises, support other non-kinetic engagements, as well as boost its capability in support of the ECOWAS mandate.
On his part, the Minister of Defence, Mr Bashir Magashi, stated that NNS KADA was conceived as a replacement for the NNS AMBE and NNS OFIOM which were decommissioned about 10 years ago.
These two navy ships had sealift capability and were of strategic relevance to the ECOMOG operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s, according to Mr Ayo-Vaughan.
Mr Magashi expressed confidence that the induction of NNS KADA into the Nigerian Navy fleet will play a critical role in the sealift of troops and maritime crises management, especially by conveying relief materials, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy Fleet.