How Nigerian Navy breaks 200 years jinx

Two hundred years after the colonial masters attempted it, the Nigerian Navy (NN) on Tuesday commenced the systematic survey of the country’s offshore waters.

This exercise, which was flagged off by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, would drastically reduce navigational risks to mariners posed by wreckage, enhance national security and boost the income of maritime agencies.

The Nation reports that the multipurpose vessel, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) LANA, which was custom built at a shipyard in France, set sail Wednesday afternoon and would cover 22 nautical miles from shore.

To achieve the coverage of the country’s entire 84,000 square nautical miles, it would take NNS LANA an estimated 46 years but its success would enable the country take ownership of survey and charting its waters, an exercise performed by the British across west and central Africa.

Speaking at the ceremony, Amaechi said the government was constructing another 35 metre survey vessel for the navy in France.

He said the survey of the country’s waters would lead to the generation of about two million jobs as it would increase patronage of the country’s ports.

He said: “As this vessel commences the survey of Nigerian offshore today it is expected it would provide the necessary enablers to support the government’s economic diversification initiative through improved maritime security, maritime trade as well as improved economic prosperity…

“The completion of this survey and charting operation would boost confidence of both mariners to increase patronage of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar ports, just as the Warri, Sapale and other ports that are hitherto operating at the lowest level would be reactivated. This would provide over two million direct and indirect jobs, increase the economic viability of these ports and ultimately decongest Lagos traffic as well as reduce pressure on our roads.”

Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo emphasised that the exercise was the first indigenous survey of the country’s waters and the second attempt since the 19thC.

He said the survey and charting by the NN would be done with state-of-the-art equipment onboard NNS LANA

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