The Nigerian Navy, yesterday, in Saint Nazaire, France, took delivery of its first-ever purpose-built Offshore Survey Vessel, ‘NNS LANA’.
At the Flag Transfer Ceremony (FTC), the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.), represented by the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, stated that the new vessel was conceived as a replacement to the previous NNS LANA, a survey ship that was decommissioned about 10 years ago.
Magashi, who was the special guest of honour at the event, added that the occasion marked the fulfilment of the dream of not only replacing but enhancing the navy’s survey capability.
The new vessel is expected to fill the void created by the decommissioning of the previous NNS LANA.
Highlighting the import of having a survey vessel like NNS LANA, the minister said the survey services and charting waterways play a crucial role in ensuring safe navigation and delivery of maritime security.
“Hence, NNS LANA will not only enhance the safety of Nigeria’s maritime environment, but the ship will serve as a critical component in the projection of naval power for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. It will also play a critical role in the protection of maritime resources and the preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to the promotion of global maritime commerce,” he said.
He lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the recapitalisation of the Navy fleet.
The minister also lauded Nigeria’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Irele, the management and staff of Messrs OCEA and others who contributed one way or another towards the change of flag ceremony.