- I am most delighted and honoured to be in your midst this morning to witness the commissioning of these 6 Fast Patrol Craft and 10 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS), which are about to be inducted into the Nigerian Navy fleet. I thank the Chief of the Naval Staff, his officers and men for the honour of inviting me to this occasion as the Special Guest of Honour. I join him to welcome and appreciate other eminent Nigerians for being here to accord this ground breaking achievement that deserved recognition. I specially appreciate in a special way the esteemed personal presence of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos State Chief Akinwunmi Ambode, CDS and representatives of Service Chiefs, Captains of industry and other dignitaries who have continued to remain true and committed to the Nigerian Navy’s dream.
- The reality of today, expose our dear nation to be challenged by multi-faceted threats from both continental and maritime fronts, with attendant grave manifestations and Increasing threats to maritime security. Those poses a huge challenge that negates the vast potentials of the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea region in supporting the prosperity and wellbeing of states and their people. The peaceful use and maintenance of rule of law and order in this expanse have been afflicted by cross-border threats which constrain investment and economic development. Criminalities like piracy, sea robbery and attack on strategic oil installations have complicated the nation’s maritime security environment and threaten with dire consequences, the overall wellbeing of the nation. For a littoral state with huge dependence on her offshore resources, maritime security is vital to the nation’s well-being. Against this background of threats the entire nation would invariably be at risky situation if we do not insist on a motivated and virile navy like ours.
- I must at this point pay great tribute to the leadership of our leader President Muhammadu Buhari, officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their heroic response to the scourge of insecurity in the nation and in particular our maritime domain. I also acknowledge your tremendous efforts in prosecuting oil theft, piracy and other economic and environmental crimes that have seen to their substantial reduction and the strengthening of the stakeholders’ confidence on freedom of navigation in our waters. In this regard, I note with satisfaction that, in synergy with the other Armed Forces, the Navy has continued to maintain effective deterrence and appropriate operational posture.
- The induction of the platforms today is in line with the current administration’s promise to keep our nation safe. This commissioning ceremony is yet another demonstration of this administration resolve of protecting the nation’s maritime domain through the provision of appropriate military platforms and operating equipment also to the credit of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. It is my sincere hope that these new additions to the fleet will boost the operational capability of the Nigerian Navy, especially in the effort to stamp out the various threats prevalent in our maritime environment.
- Additionally, it is crucial that we make progress in the provision of peace and order in our maritime domain. The dependence of the nation’s economy on offshore resources as well as the enormous potentials of the maritime sector to contribute to national food security and employment generation makes this highly imperative. Thus the centrality of maritime security for national development commend the maintenance of a virile Navy notwithstanding the tremendous cost implied. Quite happily, this ceremony exemplarily falls in tune with this expectation.
- Accordingly, I am also obliged to commend the administration of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for staying true to its policy of providing an enabling maritime environment for improved commerce and shipping in the ongoing efforts to diversify the economy. The procurement of these vessels by the Ministry of Defence again demonstrates this administration’s unwavering commitment and willingness towards strengthening the Navy through provision of modern operating equipment and infrastructure.
- Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, before I conclude this address, let me at this juncture again observed with satisfaction the Navy’s strive to provide a broader framework for synergizing actions in the maritime domain with the community of maritime stakeholders. The increased role and involvement of the Nigerian Navy in strengthening maritime security has been in strong evidence over the past few years. I salute your doggedness to protect the Nigerian coastal and offshore assets against attacks and threats. Today, the Government has acted again to strengthen your hand in this crusade. It is my hope that these boats will be professionally committed and put to the best rewarding use. Thank you once more for the honour of inviting me to launch them. I welcome once again our invited guests.
Thank you all, God bless and Onward Together.