The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Friday reinstated its commitment to end all forms of Illegality in the Gulf of Guinea.
It was learnt that the resolve prompted the interdiction of the Brazil Ship Independencia with a mission code named ‘Gunex in the Gulf Guinean aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Brazil as well as enhancing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Speaking to journalists at the event, Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command in Lagos, Rear Admiral Habila Zakaria, said the visit of the Brazilian vessel will enable maritime exercises that would improve maritime security within the nation’s waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.
He explained that the Gulf of Guinea is of interest to the Nigerian Navy because if allowed maritime illegalities to continue to thrive within the waters, adding that it would have a ripple effect on cost of items within the landlocked countries and of course Nigeria.
“By and large the Nigerian Navy has done much to ensure that the maritime environment is deprived of any form of illegalities and recent report from IMO shows that there are little or no report of piracy within our waters.’’
Zakaria who was represented by Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa said Nigeria and Brazil have come a long way and had a lot of bilateral agreements, one of which is in the defence.
“We have exchanged programmes within the military which is quite commendable. We should explore further ways of doing so and the presence of the BNS Independencia in Lagos is also one of our strategic directives to collaborate with foreign navies who once in a while come around to pay a port call and also participate in exercises with them.
“Your visit is also one of such opportunities for the Nigerian Navy to exercise itself with you, share experience and move forward,” he said