Following the successful completion of the first locally-built warship, a 31-metre seaward defence boat by the Nigerian Navy and the near completion of a 38-metre warship, the naval authorities yesterday said that measures had been put in place to commence export of such ships to other countries.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba made this disclosure while inspecting the second indigenous patrol ship undergoing construction at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, during his 2-day tour of naval facilities in Lagos.
He expressed confidence that personnel of the Nigerian Navy were skilled enough to build a patrol ship, between 10 and 50 meters in size for export to other African countries, “thereby generating revenue for the navy and building professional competence for its personnel as well.”
It was gathered that the second indigenous warship, whose construction was flagged off by President Goodluck Jonathan soon after commissioning the first warship (NNS Andoni) in May, 2012, would soon be commissioned for use in the fight against maritime crimes on the nation's waterways.
Ezeoba said: "The Nigerian Navy will no longer buy a ship of between 10 and 50 meters in size because we have the capacity and capability to build them in our dockyard.
"We are set to embark on the building of commercial war ships for export to African continent. Also, the second ship under construction is in the same class with the first indigenous 31-meter patrol ship, but was redesigned and upgraded to 38 meters, to meet with the current challenges in the country's maritime domain.
"The way we see it, the ship building business would not only attract economic value, but would also create jobs for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in the maritime sector and beyond."
He announced that the second indigenous ship would be delivered to the Nigerian Navy by the dockyard for its inauguration into the fleets latest by June 2014.
Ezeoba also used the occasion to inaugurate four newly acquired Shaldaq and Manta patrol boats to enhance operational capability of the base in addition to six of their class which were inaugurated in December 2012.