By Yahaya Isah
The Nigerian Navy (NN) said its latest offshore survey vessel, NNS LANA, has started its return voyage to the country.
This is contained in a statement released in Abuja on Saturday by Naval Headquarters Information Director Commodore Suleman Dahun.
He said, however, that the ship would travel to the ports of Lisbon, Las Palmas, Banjul and Tema-Ghana, before going to Nigeria on May 17.
According to Dahun, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, addressed the ship’s company.
The CNS noted that the primary wish of every coastal state is to have a fleet with the right combination of platforms to achieve its operational goals.
Gambo acknowledged that the return trip from the NNS LANA was another milestone in NN’s fleet recapitalization efforts.
He added that the induction of the NNS LANA would strengthen the Navy’s ability to provide survey and mapping services, which were essential to safe navigation and maritime safety.
Gambo also said the ship would add to the navy’s power to ensure the safety of the maritime environment of the country and the Gulf of Guinea.
The CNS thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his tireless efforts and for ensuring that the NN has the capacity required to fulfill its constitutional mandate.
Gambo congratulated the entire shipping company NNS LANA for its good conduct since its arrival in France and for its cooperation with MM. OCEA, the French company that built the ship.
The CNS urged them to maintain their good behavior as they begin their journey home.
Gambo asked them to respect COVID-19 protocols and existing port administrative procedures and guidelines, as well as to avoid any act that could tarnish the image of the service and the country.
He explained that the NNS LANA was designed with some on-board training activities aimed at expanding the company’s knowledge and refining its skills in handling the vessel and its systems.
He therefore instructed the shipping company to take the training seriously and absorb as much of it as possible, as it became a potential point of reference for the subsequent shipping company.
CNS urged staff to apply the NN core values of professionalism, integrity and teamwork, so that Nigeria maximizes the value of the new vessel in protecting its maritime environment.
In his address, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr Modupe Irele, congratulated MM. OCEA for their impressive know-how in the construction of the hydrographic survey vessel and the maintenance of cordial relations between the two countries.
Irele noted that the growing collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and Messrs. OCEA, indicated the increased commitments between the two countries in economic cooperation, defense and security.
She congratulated the NN and MM. OCEA for overcoming the difficulties, disruptions and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the construction of the NNS LANA.
Irele acknowledged that the will shown by the two countries to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation and increase foreign investment was shared by President Muhammadu and President Emmanuel Macron.
According to her, the common goal has resulted in an increasing level of exchange of visits by the two leaders as well as frequent bilateral visits by senior officials of the two countries.
Irele also praised the efforts of the NN under Gambo’s leadership to ensure the maintenance of maritime security.
“I was hoping that the deployment of NNS LANA will increase the service’s ability to promote foreign trade and business activities among others.
“I also wished NNS LANA and its crew a safe and healthy passage home to international waters,” she said. (NOPE)
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