By Godfrey Bivbere
THE Nigerian Navy has said that the two fast patrol boats provided for it by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, for the patrol of the Lagos waterfront are no longer operational.
Disclosing this to Vanguard Maritime Report in the exclusive interview in his office, Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, West Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, said the boats were given to the Navy in 2013.
He said, “With respect to the provision of assets, it is true that two assets were provided in 2013, NNS Tori and NNS Agade; they are about 17 meter fast patrol boats.
READ ALSO:Maritime: When the world stood up for reforms in Nigeria
“However or should I say regrettably, it is not just the acquisition of assets that matters in Naval operations. There must be provision for the maintenance and sustenance. Since 2014 the challenge of the maintenance of these boats became very heavy on the Western Navy Command due to the dwindling resources and right now the boats are not operational.
“We have informed the NPA to assist the Command by reactivating the boats and we hope that this request will meet with favorable consideration because at the end of the day; it is a win-win situation.
“If the maritime environment is secured then many more businesses and ships will be willing to come to Nigeria to carry out their legitimate businesses which means more money for the NPA and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“It is very true that the Nigeria Navy and the Ports Authority have been cooperating and collaborating over time. In fact do not forget that both organizations as we have it today came from the same parent organization “The Nigeria Marines” when it was decided that we should form a Navy, the NPA was carved out.
“The Nigerian Navy was carved out as the Royal Nigerian Navy, so it came out from the same parent’s organization. So we have been collaborating all along.’’