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UK to train Nigerian Navy on anti-piracy, smuggling

By Adaku Onyenucheya
27 October 2021   |   3:43 am
The United Kingdom Government has said it would train more personnel of the Nigerian Navy in the fight against piracy, drug smuggling and other crimes.

• As pirates strike again off Niger Delta
The United Kingdom Government has said it would train more personnel of the Nigerian Navy in the fight against piracy, drug smuggling and other crimes.

UK’s Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, said this on Monday while briefing journalists on board of HMS Trent, a British warship, in Lagos.

The British warship is in Nigeria to participate in a French-led multinational training, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo that will bring together international partners in the region. HMS Trent is the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years.

Llewellyn said the training was part of UK’s commitment in strengthening the bilateral relations between both countries.

“Nigeria is an important and valued defence partner for the UK as both countries share threats and we are determined to defeat these and help improve maritime security in the area.

“We would be training the navy personnel on different strategies in combating piracy and other related issues as we believe that this would also help in bringing up various tactics in resolving insecurity in the region.

“We are keen to work with Nigeria to defeat all forms of threats and insecurity in the area and this is one of the steps in ensuring that happens,” he said.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Trent, Thomas Knot, said the country was heading towards the dry season, a period of influx of pirates, noting that it is of extreme importance that this training takes place.

“We would be conducting maritime security patrol as well as supporting partner navies by helping them to develop key maritime skills and develop plans for future operations in the region.

“We are extremely proud and excited to commence this exercise and we are looking to working with regional partners and also engaging with local communities in an effort to strengthen security,” he said.

MEANWHILE, an MSC containership was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria on Monday. It was the fifth pirate attack on ocean going vessels in the country this year.

Maritime security firm, Dryad Global, which confirmed the attack, said the MSC Lucia was boarded by an unknown number of attackers approximately 86 nautical miles southwest of the offshore Agbami Oil Terminal, located approximately 70nm south-southwest of the Niger Delta.

MSC Lucia is a Panama-flagged containership measuring 189 meters in length and 1,951 TEU, according to MSC’s website. The ship was built in 1985.