The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas has disclosed
that the Navy has engaged a Nigerian firm, Epenal to manufacture
warships for the navy.
He said this in Calabar, Cross River State capital on Tuesday.
The Navy, he said has recently got delivery of 16 of such boats which
were among the 20 that were recently commissioned by the Navy in Delta State.
He noted that the essence of partnering with a local manufacturer was
to ensure that Nigeria saved foreign exchange and also provide
employment opportunities for the teeming youth in the country.
“Most nations are able to take their destinies into their hands and a
nation like North Korea can stand up to a nation like the United
States just because they have the capability and technologies that
can threaten not only their enemies.
“Nigeria over the years has made attempts to improve its technological
capacities and capabilities. We have an indigenous company which can
make a positive impact in the operations of the navy. I think we have
subscribed to over 150 of the boats. They are not enough but they have
helped to solve the problems that we have now.
“The cost of course it cost Nigerian taxpayers a lot. It’s a far cry
from if we were to purchase it from outside but we have saved a lot of
foreign exchange for the nation. By purchasing the boats locally, we
have saved a lot of employment for the teeming youths of the nation.
These are some of the reasons we are ready to support that indigenous
company”, he said.
Vice Admiral Ibas also disclosed that the Navy was ready to deal with
militancy and piracy in the country.
The navy he said “will not wait till an individual threatens the corporate existence of the nation or lives and properties before we respond.”
“A wide range of contingencies have been put in place to secure the
Nigerian shoreline,” he stressed.
He said the Navy Ultramodeor Reference Hospital in Calabar was
billed for commissioning in the first quarter of 2018.
According to him, “The reference hospital started before I even joined
the navy. If you recall how much the country has spent in medical
examinations abroad, you will marvel at why a project of such
magnitude was abandoned in the first place.
“Efforts had been made in the recent past to get the facility back and
enormous resources have been spent to complete it. Before the first
quarter of next year, the facility will be ready for commissioning. I
know that when it is commissioned, the hospital will cater for members
of the armed forces and also other Nigerians”, he said.
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