The Nigerian Navy (NN) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) NNS UNITY which was under construction in China has been completed and on its way to join the NN fleet.
This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in Abuja.
The Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani at the handing over and departure ceremony in China.
Ibas, however, conveyed the appreciation of Nigeria Navy to President Muhammadu Buhari, for approving all steps taken toward the departure of NNS UNITY.
He said that NNS UNITY would strengthen the efforts of The Navy against all maritime crimes and illegalities in the nation’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea in general.
The CNS also added that the areas that were hitherto unable to be covered by other ships would now be covered by NNS UNITY.
This, he said, would no doubt enhance the Navy’s effectiveness and responsiveness to the maritime security challenges within Nigeria’s waters.
“NNS UNITY enroute Nigeria will pay port calls on some ports of friendly nations before arriving Nigeria.
“This will further boost the existing cordial relationship with sister navies around the world and the Gulf of Guinea in particular,” Ibas said.
Ibas solicited the maintenance and improved cooperation between Nigeria and China Ship Building Corporation beyond the departure of NNS UNITY.
The ceremony had in attendance: Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Isa Misau, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Abdulsamad Dasuki, Representative of the Minister of Defense, Hajia Rabi Tedman, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) recalls that the NNS UNITY departed China Sept. 21, and was expected to arrive in Nigeria first week of November 2016. (NAN )