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EU, Nigerian Navy partner on maritime security

By Jesutomi Akomolafe
08 April 2022   |   2:54 am
The first-ever joint event on “Strengthening Nigeria-EU Cooperation on Maritime Security” was held in Lagos, yesterday, at the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC).

A cross section of officers of the Nigerian Navy led by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral  Awwal Zubairu Gambo, represented by Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, and the  European Union Delegation led by the EU Senior Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea, Nicolas Berlanga; EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi; Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo and  Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Sell, at the Headquarters of Western Naval Command during the  first-ever joint event on “Strengthening Nigeria – EU Cooperation on Maritime Security” in Lagos.

The first-ever joint event on “Strengthening Nigeria-EU Cooperation on Maritime Security” was held in Lagos, yesterday, at the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC).

The high-level event was organised jointly by the Nigerian Navy, the EU Delegation to Nigeria and EU member-states operating under the EU Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) initiative.

The move came against the backdrop of port calls from the naval vessel of the Italian IT Rizzo and the Spanish ES Serviola.

The event solidifies the close partnership that has developed between the Nigerian Navy, the European Union and EU member-states operating in the region.

In recent years, relations have deepened between the partners through enhanced operational cooperation, joint exercises and training, capacity development, as well as increased information sharing and exchange.

According to a joint statement, “All sides recognise that maritime crimes, particularly piracy and armed robbery at sea, have reduced across the region according to International Maritime Bureau Report of February 2022.

“An intensified presence at sea and the collaborative efforts by Nigeria, the EU and Member States played their part in achieving this success.

“However, the parties also acknowledge the need to further deepen relations by continued cooperation and with an aim to keep ensuring freedom of navigation, the safety of seafarers, protection of regional resources and coastal communities.

“To this end, Nigeria has taken a leading role in regional coordination through the MCF-GOG SHADE deconfliction group and the Nigerian Navy has continuously developed its capacities to secure the open seas, including through the acquisition of new platforms and through the Falcon Eye surveillance system.

“The EU has actively been engaging with the Nigerian Navy through the CMP-mechanisms as well as through regional initiatives such as the YARIS information-sharing platform and with the assistance of the SWAIMS project.

“All sides will continue deepening their relations and reiterate their full commitment to maintaining constructive dialogue and cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect.”

The event saw the presence of many high-level persons, including the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo; WNC Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai; the EU Senior Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea, Mr. Nicolas Berlanga; the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Samuela Isopi; the Italian Ambassador for Maritime Security, Mr. Daniele Bosio; the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stefano De Leo and others.

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