The Nigerian Navy in Lagos has conducted various simulation exercises from anti-piracy, rig protection, visit board search and seizure, communication drills, together with search and rescue operations with the Chinese navy.
The simulation activities were part of the visit by the Chinese vessel to Nigeria which was received by officials of the Western Naval Command led by Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan.
The five-day exercise activated at the Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility, was geared towards strengthening the bilateral relations between Nigeria and China, as well as enhance maritime security within West Africa.
NNS KANO and Ibeano were deployed for this exercise alongside thirty-six Officers and men including some selected Defense reporters to the Gulf of Guinea.
The ships departed Western Naval Command in the morning and sailed back to the shores in the evening.
In the course of the exercise, NNS KANO and NNS Ibeano was deployed for a mock search and rescue mission for the rescue of one man that went overboard, which was won by NNS Kano.
Recall that the China’s warship, MSL Destroyer NANNING on Sunday arrived Lagos on a diplomatic visit to Nigeria.
The Chinese vessel was received by officials of the Western Naval Command led by Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan.
According to the FOC, for the Nigerian Navy and for the Navy worldwide, we have three roles, military, diplomatic and policing roles.
“The Navy is a tool that can be used for the diplomatic roles and this is what you are seeing today by the visit of the ship to Nigeria.
“They are exercising their diplomatic prowess and when you visit with a big ship like this, it tells you something about that country and internationally.
“China is not the only nation that has visited us with ships like this, we keep having visits from European countries and other countries in the world all over and I think the reason is that they found Nigeria to be a strategic partner.
This has been helping us to fight crimes especially in the Gulf of Guinea so we always welcome such visits as this,” he said.
The FOC added that part of their visit was also to further cement the relationship between two countries.
He emphasized that during their stay, both men would be interacting, adding that there would be some squatting activities, exchange of momentum and gifts.
“We will also be discussing on the future of our both navies and most especially how we can benefit from each other
“We will also be having what we call sea rider where we will have both men onboard each others ships,” he added.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, CUI Jianchun, while speaking with journalists, said that the visit would demonstrate the harmony between the two countries.
“This trip is to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“This military visit is for peace and we are here to work together not for the two countries alone but for the international community,” he said.