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Nigerian Navy Celebrates 68th Anniversary with Series of High-Profile Events

Nigerian Navy Celebrates 68th Anniversary with Series of High-Profile Events

Nigerian Navy Celebrates 68th Anniversary with Series of High-Profile Events

Rear Admiral Joseph Daniel Akpan, Chief of Policy and Plans at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, announced on behalf of the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, that the Nigerian Navy will be celebrating its 68th anniversary with a series of events from Friday, 24 May to Saturday, 1 June 2024, in Lagos.

The celebration, known as Navy Week, commemorates the establishment of the Nigerian Navy on 1 June 1956 and serves as a scorecard of the Navy’s achievements over the past year.

Admiral Akpan highlighted the significant growth of the Nigerian Navy, which has evolved from a modest fleet of coastal boats to a formidable maritime force in the West African sub-region and the Gulf of Guinea. This year’s Navy Week will review the accomplishments under the leadership of Vice Admiral Ogalla, particularly in enhancing the operational readiness and combating crude oil theft through OPERATION DELTA SANITY, which was re-launched in January 2024.

“The fight against Crude Oil Theft has been a huge success under OPERATION DELTA SANITY. In its nine months of operation, numerous suspects and vessels involved in crude oil theft have been apprehended,” Akpan noted. The operation has positively impacted Nigeria’s crude oil production, with OPEC records showing an increase in crude oil exports from 1.23 million barrels per day (bpd) in March to 1.28 million bpd in April 2024.

The Navy Week will also emphasize the Nigerian Navy’s role in supporting land operations across all geopolitical zones and maintaining maritime security, which has earned Nigeria a zero piracy status in the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy ratings. Fleet renewal efforts have seen the acquisition of various platforms, including offshore survey vessels, fast patrol boats, and helicopters, with additional offshore patrol vessels expected from Turkey later this year.

The anniversary events will commence with Special Juma’at Prayers on Friday, 24 May 2024, and an Interdenominational Church Service on Sunday, 26 May 2024. Medical outreaches and activities by the Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) will follow on Monday, 27 May 2024. A highlight of the week will be the flag-off of the Regional Maritime Exercise and the International Maritime Conference by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday, 30 May 2024. The exercise will involve navies from Africa, Europe, Asia, North, and South America, with the Nigerian Navy contributing 18 platforms.

The International Maritime Conference, scheduled for 30-31 May 2024, aims to foster international cooperation on maritime security, crucial for unlocking Africa’s Blue Economy potential. The conference will feature presentations and host delegations from 21 African countries, 17 non-African countries, and 13 international organizations.

In closing, Rear Admiral Akpan expressed gratitude to the press for their continued support and called for extensive coverage of the Navy Week events. “I thank you all for your time and attention today. God bless, and onward together,” he concluded.

Nigerian Navy Celebrates 68th Anniversary with Series of High-Profile Events

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