The Nigerian Navy has recently secured its territorial waters to aid the transportation of goods and services for local and foreign merchant ships. This improvement, according to them, will erase the fear of attacks by criminals. The Nigerian Navy chief of training and operations, Rear Adm. Zakariyya Muhammad, stated in Onne, Rivers State, after completion of a four-day naval expedition, themed “Exercise Nchekwa Oshimiri 2023”. The exercise featured necessities for the protection of the country’s territorial waters.
13 warships, 2 helicopters, 88 patrol boats, and 4,000 personnel were featured during the exercise. According to Mr. Muhammad, it is possible for the Nigerian Navy to ensure full security of the maritime environment of the nation through enhancement of the presence of Nigerian warships and patrol boats at sea. Through the enhancement of Nigeria’s presence at sea, there have been a restoration of the confidence of merchant ships and other stakeholders involved in the maritime.
Enhanced security has led to the interrogation of many ships.
Conduction of legal activities now goes on without fear of attacks. The four-day exercise organized by the Nigerian Navy has granted them the opportunity to ensure maintenance of presence at sea and enhancement of the country’s maritime security. As explained by the naval boss, the enhanced security has led to the interrogation of many ships and the arrest of one of the interrogated ships. He further stated that Exercise Nchekwa Oshimiri has been helpful for personnel.
Through the Exercise, there has been an improvement in the training of personnel onboard naval ships to aid good performance in the delivery of the Navy’s constitutional mandate of ensuring the security of the maritime domain of Nigeria. Muhammad further stated that the maritime environment and economic zone of Nigeria now has enhanced security, which has led to a positive impact in securing the Gulf of Guinea. The increased sea presence of the Nigerian Navy has been impactful in diverse ways.
Stimulation of a rogue vessel by a merchant vessel.
Merchant ships now operate their trade with boldness with thinking of any form of attack from criminal elements of the maritime. Through the exercise, he added that there have also been an improvement of the security within the broader GoG because our sister navies and countries are aware and well-informed that the Nigerian Navy is carrying out this exercise. The commanding officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Kada, Tony Archibong, asserted that the exercise was a massive success.
According to the commanding officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Kada, the exercise is regarded as part of the active measures taken towards the eradication of oil theft, sea piracy, sea robbery and illegitimate unreported and unregulated fishing, and so much more, in the territorial waters of the country. During the course of the “Exercise Nchekwa Oshimiri 2023”, the Nigerian navy ensured that there was the stimulation of a rogue vessel by a merchant vessel.
Securing the maritime environment for mariners.
It was stated by Mr. Archibong that the rogue vessel that was stimulated was involved in anti-piracy. As a result, the Nigerian Navy sent out NNS Oji and NNS Aba to intercept, board, capture and search the rogue vessel. The exercise was employed to boost the confidence in the security architecture of the Nigerian Navy. This is for the purpose of securing the maritime environment for mariners to keep conducting their economic activities and trade.