Nigerian Navy and Local Ship Designing Virtues

Nigerian Navy and Local Ship Designing VirtuesNigerian Navy’s newest landing ship tank launched in Sharjah, UAE.
Nigerian Navy’s newest landing ship tank launched in Sharjah, UAE
Nigerian Navy and Feats of Designing Locally-Made Ships

The first ship of the Nigerian Navy was the NNS Nigeria, commissioned in 1964. The NNS Nigeria was originally built as the HMS Flamingo for the British Royal Navy in 1944 and served during World War II. In 1951, the ship was sold to the Indian Navy and renamed the INS Godavari.

However, in 1963, the Nigerian government purchased the INS Godavari from India for use as the first ship of the Nigerian Navy. The ship was renamed the NNS Nigeria and commissioned into service on May 15, 1964, at Portsmouth, England………..Continue Reading

The NNS Nigeria was a frigate-class ship and had a displacement of 2,100 tons. The ship was armed with guns, torpedoes, and depth charges and was primarily used for patrol and escort duties. The ship had a crew of about 150 and could travel at a top speed of 24 knots.

The Nigerian Civil War, which raged from 1967 to 1970, was significantly influenced by the NNS Nigeria. The ship was utilized to barricade the Biafran coast and stop the transport of troops and supplies to the territory that had declared its independence. Throughout the conflict, the NNS Nigeria took part in various naval battles.

After the civil war, the NNS Nigeria continued to serve in the Nigerian Navy and was used for training and other duties. The ship was decommissioned in 1994, after 30 years of service, it was later sold for scrap.

Aside NNS Nigeria, the Nigerian Navy has inaugurated several other ships – warships, patrol boats, and support vessels over the years. The likes of NNS Aradu – the largest warship in West Africa. NNS Thunder is another ship – majorly for patrol boats, built in the United States and commissioned in 2012. What about NNS Unity for training Nigerian Navy cadets with the length of 95 meters and NNS Ekun serving mine clearance operations, to mention a few.

All these aforementioned ships and vessels were built in Romania, the United State, China, and the United Kingdom respectively.

While investment in shipbuilding is huge, the necessity to import and export commodities, prompted by globalization, has elevated shipbuilding to a key strategic sector. Shipbuilding has a complex value chain that demands skilled workers at each stage of this chain.

Construction of local ships will be a fascinating opportunity for local businesses and also optimize local content development.

In 2018, the Nigerian Navy commissioned the NNS Karaduwa, the first locally-built patrol vessel constructed by the Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos, Nigeria, a flagship of NN.

The development has been a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to promote local content development and reduce its reliance on foreign-made vessels. It opens the potential to create jobs, generate revenue, enhance national security and also promote technology transfer and innovation, which have a positive impact on the country’s economy.

The Navy’s patrol boats and other vessels have been instrumental in the fight against piracy, smuggling, and other illegal activities in the country’s territorial waters.

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) established to promote local participation in the oil and gas industry has expanded its scope to cover other sectors, including maritime.

The NCDMB has been working with the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders to develop the country’s shipbuilding industry. The board has provided funding and technical assistance to local shipyards and has also facilitated partnerships between local shipbuilders and international companies.

According to the Nigerian Shipbuilders Association, the industry has the potential to create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. This will have a ripple effect on the economy, as more people will have disposable income to spend on goods and services.

Amid the feats it recorded in the past, the Nigerian Navy recently signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI to produce local ships meant for maritime security.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwal Gambo said at the event that NASENI team had visited the Naval Dockyard in Lagos to refine the Nigerians Navy’s local shipbuilding, construction, and fabrications.

He said the indigenous shipbuilding effort had enhanced the presence of the Nigerian navy at sea which led to a significant reduction in piracy.

Gambo said that the efforts had culminated in the delisting of Nigeria from the international list of piracy-prone countries in the world.

“This has ultimately reduced high insurance premium (known as war risk premium), which is usually factored into shipping cost due to the prevalence of piracy incidences”, he said.

The insurance premium according to Gambo, has reduced from 5,000 US Dollars to 946 US Dollars.

Speaking further, the Naval boss pledged not to relent in promoting mutual synergy towards enhancing research and development for enhanced security, as well as fostering operations and administrative engagements that would enhance the development of a sustainable Blue Economy for Nigeria’s prosperity.

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