President Goodluck Jonathan earlier today commissioned 4 new navy ships in Lagos, Nigeria.
The ships named Opkabana, Centenary, Prosperity and Sagbama were officially handed over to the Nigerian Navy at the Victoria Island Dockyard in Lagos. This makes it the first time in the history of Nigeria that four ships were simultaneously put into service.
Below are brief description of the ships
Okpabana, designed in New Orleans, was commissioned into the Service of the US Coast Guard on December 20, 1969. The warship was acquired by the Nigerian Navy under the auspices of Defence Article Programme between Nigeria and the US.
Centenary and Sagbama are two ships that Nigeria acquired from China in April, 2014 in sign of tight relationships between the countries.
Prosperity is a former Irish Navy vessel.
Here’s the speech Goodluck Jonathan gave on the commissioning exercise courtesy of Daily Post
1. I am delighted to be here today to commission four new platforms that were recently added to the Nigerian Navy Fleet.
2. These ships, the Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA, a High Endurance Cutter acquired from the United States of America; Nigerian Navy Ship PROSPERITY, a former Irish Navy fishery patrol boat, acquired purposely for use as a training ship; and Nigerian Navy Ship CENTENARY, one of the two offshore patrol vessels procured from China and Nigerian Navy Ship SAGBAMA, which was donated by the Peoples Republic of China.
3. I thank all the friends of Nigeria and the Nigerian Navy for making this occasion a reality.
4. In line with my administration’s Transformation Agenda and our vision of becoming one of the leading economies in the world, premium is placed on improved national security. This includes food security as well as employment generation.
5. The high dependence of the nation’s economy on offshore resources, as well as the enormous potentials of the maritime sector to contribute to our food security and employment generation, makes provision of effective maritime security very imperative. Therefore, the Nigerian Navy, as the lead maritime security agency, deserves all the support it needs, to effectively carry out its statutory roles.
6. In this regard, and in spite of other pressing demands, my administration has continued to support the fleet recapitalization objective of the Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan 2010 – 2020, which was formulated to support the realization of the goals of the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda.
7. The four ships being commissioned today are part of a total of six ships expected to be commissioned into the Nigerian Navy Fleet in 2015. I am confident that this event represents a furtherance of continued cooperation between Nigeria, the United States of America and China in the area of maritime security.
8. It is remarkable to note that the Nigerian Navy Ship OKPABANA is the sixth ship the Nigerian Navy has acquired from the United States of America since 2002. On the other hand, Nigerian Navy Ship CENTENARY is the first of the two initial acquisitions from China. I am aware that the second vessel is still under construction in China and will be delivered before the end of the year.
9. Permit me to use this occasion to express the desire of this administration to see more progress in our cooperation, to the mutual benefit of our respective countries.
10. This commissioning ceremony gives me opportunity to once again reaffirm my confidence in the competence and commitment of the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy. I am glad to particularly note the achievements of the Navy in the fight against oil theft and other maritime crimes.
11. I wish to reassure the Navy that this administration will not waiver in its support to the on-going capacity building effort we have started.
12. On your part, the government and people of Nigeria will expect judicious and productive use of these assets, to deliver the much desired maritime security.
13. On this note, I wish the officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy and in particular the officers and ratings that will sail in these ships, fair winds and flowing seas.
14. Onward Together!