Navy Unveils 30 Made-In-Nigeria Gunboats, 45 Operational Vehicles. Photos

The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday in Lagos inaugurated 39 gun boats and 45 operational vehicles to assist the fight against criminalities in parts of the country. Thirty of the boats were built in Nigeria.
At the inauguration, Minister of State for Defence, Mohammad Dan-Ali, said that the gun boats were fitted with appropriate weapons and anti-ballistic protection to enhance optimal efficiency. The minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Danjuma Sheni. He said that the thirty 8.2 metre boats, which were constructed for the navy by Epenal Boat Yard in Port Hacourt, would be deployed for rigorous patrols in the Niger Delta while additional 20 would be delivered subsequently. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his continual support and committment to the Armed Forces. The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete-Ibas, in his welcome address, said that the Epenal boats were an improvement on 30 others unveiled in Port Harcourt in February. Ete-Ibas said the decision of the navy to build 60 boats locally was part of her resolve to look inwards in the production of the nation’s naval hardware. According to the naval chief, the gun boats also benefitted from the incorporation of anti-ballistic protection, giving it edge for more audacious and aggressive employment. The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Navy, Senator Isa Aman-Isa, said the committee was doing everything possible to support the navy in tackling maritime insecurity to the fullest. Present at the inauguration were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and other top brass in the military.