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Navy begins maritime exercise in Nigerian Waters

File Photo: Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas

A 5- day combined naval exercise
code-named GRAND AFRICAN NEMO (Navy exercise for maritime operations) has been
flagged off in Nigerian waters.

Coordinated by the French Navy, GRAND
AFRICAN NEMO 2019 involves the participation of four Nigerian Navy ships and a

In a statement, the Nigerian Navy
Spokes Person, Commodore Suleman Dahun for Chief of Naval Staff, noted the
Exercise is aimed at supporting the efforts of regional navies to counter
criminal activities in the maritime domain through different operational modes
of planned exercises.

Commodore Dahun said “the conduct of
this year’s exercise would facilitate the involvement of various key ministries
and departments namely Ministries of Justice, Finance, Interior, and Ministry
of Agriculture as well as Department of Fisheries and provide opportunities for
inter-agency cooperation among major stakeholders in the maritime sector for
enhanced security.”

He added that the Exercise is also
aimed at supporting the efforts made by regional navies and allied nations and
is also being conducted to assist in training regional Maritime Operations
Centers in sharing real time information and capacity building.

According to him, the 4 ships and one
helicopter deployed for the Exercise will carry out various naval drills
together with other foreign ships within Nigerian waters which is in line with
the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete
Ibas, to end crude oil theft and economic sabotage in the nation’s maritime
environment through enhanced patrol and operations.

He said “the ships would conduct
Visit Board Search and Seizure, Search and Rescue, Anti-Piracy and
Anti-Poaching drills, Visual Communications and Casualty Evacuation exercises
as well as Fleet Maneuvers will also be conducted among others”.
The Nigerian Navy Spokes Person
stressed that the 5-day Exercise will culminate in a debriefing for the review
and assessment of conduct of the Exercise in order to improve future exercises
and perfect strategies at tackling maritime crimes.

GRAND AFRICAN NEMO has its genesis in
the 2013 Yaounde, Cameroon summit in which countries which border the gulf of
guinea (Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao
Tome and Principe Angola and Congo) pledged to strengthen maritime security

It could be recalled that in an
effort to counter piracy and other illegal activities in the West and Central
African sub region, the Yaoundé Declaration on the Gulf of Guinea Security was
adopted in June 2013.

Two key resolutions of the
Declaration were the creation of an Inter- Regional Coordination Centre on
Maritime Safety and Security for West and Central Africa to be headquartered in
Yaoundé Cameroun. 

The second resolution was the implementation of a new Code of
Conduct on the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships
and illegal maritime activities in West and Central Africa.

The Declaration has been
operationalized since the signing of the agreement by Heads of States and
Governments of member countries in the same year.
Voice of Nigeria.

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