Nigerian Navy collaborates with Portuguese Naval Ship to improve maritime security

 The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, has described the of the Portugal Naval Ship (PNS) SETUBAL as aimed at increasing maritime security in the .

Gbassa told newsmen on Wednesday, in Lagos, during the of PNS SETUBAL to the command, that the would improve capacity along the Gulf of Guinea.

He said that security issues in the maritime environment had global impact as affected the sea lanes where most of the trade were carried out.

“Nigeria and Portugal have a history of trade and most of our imports and exports are made through the sea. So, any of our foreign partners that we can reach out to and collaborate with to enhance our capacity to fight maritime insecurity issues is welcomed.

“Therefore, the trip the PNS SEPTUGAL, falls under purview for collaboration and expansion of capacity to be able to contain the threats within our maritime environment and enhance trade,” he said.

The FOC said that the Nigerian Navy (NN)  had hosted some foreign naval ships the past two years.

“First, we started with the exercise Orbangame Express where eight navies, from eight other nations, joined us for an exercise maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

was followed the Spanish Naval Ship FUROR and now the Portuguese as our visitors,” he said, while emphasising that no single entity could assure security within any environment.

“So, was always a great pleasure to have the of our foreign partners, which can be in the form of trainings or visits.

“We hope that our interaction lead to better cooperation between the two nations, to the extent that your interest within our shores be protected the same way your government reciprocate ours.

“We want to continue in the areas of collaboration, trainings and exchange programmes, to enhance and improve our capacity to contain threats that emerge within our maritime environment,” he said.

In his response, Lt.-Cdr. Dias Marques, the Commanding Officer, PNS, SETUBAL, said that was important to improve maritime security in Nigeria and the , in order the trade interests of the two countries.

“Portugal is an economic friend of Nigeria and we import a lot of goods from Nigeria and other African countries, so it is important that we collaborate to increase maritime security in the .

been working with our friends in the region and done a lot of exercises, which has increased the skills of the sailors in the countries that visited,” he said.

Marques said the PNS SETUBAL was happy to be in Nigeria and would be looking forward to working with the Nigerian navy to increase skills and build capacity for a better secured maritime domain.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a plaque of honour was presented as birthday gifts to two of the Portuguese officers;  Lt. Jose Nobre and Lt. Pedro Santana, whose birthdays coincided with their to the command. (NAN)