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First Lady Inaugurates New Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel

THE First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu has inaugurated the second 76- metre high Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessel, built by a Turkish ship builder, Dearsan Shipyard, for the Nigerian Navy.
Performing the ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, the first Lady said the administration of President Bola Tinubu was committed to a more secured and prosperous nation.
A statement on the ceremony was made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja by the first lady’s Spokesperson, Busola Kukoyi.
According to the statement, Mrs Tinubu performed the age-long tradition of slipping the vessel into water – formal custom that celebrates a vessel being transferred from land to water for the first time -.
She stressed that the vessels were a testament to the commitment of President Tinubu’s administration to a more secured maritime environment for economic development.
“The acquisition of the high endurance offshore patrol vessels is another feat in the Tinubu administration’s commitment to the Nigerian Navy’s fleet renewal efforts towards a more secured maritime environment for the nation’s economic prosperity.
“As we appreciate the processes that have brought us here today, I want to commend Dearsan Shipyard for the high-quality ship building capability.
“I also want to commend the shipyard for attaining this milestone, leading to the launching of the second Offshore patrol vessel.
“Our gathering here today will undoubtedly strengthen the relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the shipyard as well as between Nigeria and Turkish Government,” she said.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohammed Mattawalle expressed optimism that the vessels would enhance the nation’s maritime sector.
“I attest to the dedication and commitment of the Nigerian Navy, not only to secure our territorial waters, but also to see to an improved blue economy.
“The impacts of the vessels on the Navy’s activities would be significant,” he said.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Oglala emphasised the commitment of President Tinubu to the welfare of men of the Nigerian Navy.
He said the President had resolved to provide all that is needed to enhance their job and that would ultimately result into reduced crimes in the maritime domain.
In their respective remarks, the Turkish  Deputy Minister of Defence, Suay Alpay and the Secretary of Defence, Haluk Gorgun said, there is room for more cooperation with Nigeria, not only in the area of security, but also economic development.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Navy in Nov. 2021 signed a contract with Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey for the construction of two units of 76m HE Offshore Patrol Vessels.
The Keel laying ceremony of the ships, which signifies the commencement of their construction took place in Sept. 2022.
Ogala launched the first of the new vessels, also in Turkey, in Oct. 2023
The vessels are to be used for maritime interdiction operations, surveillance, search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, special forces operations as well as providing naval support to land forces. (NAN)

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