US Consul General: “We’re Proud Of Nigerian Navy Over Piracy Reduction In GoG.”
The Nigerian Navy has received praises from HE William Stevens, the United States Consul General in Lagos, for the decline in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The commendation was given by Stevens on Thursday as he was accompanying the US Coast Guard’s Ship’s Company, Cutter MOHAWK, on a courtesy call to Rear Admiral YB Wambai, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, at the Command’s Headquarters Office in Apapa Lagos.
According to him, the visit strengthens bilateral ties between the two Nations as they continue to fight piracy in both Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
Stevens claimed that the Nigerian Navy had increased its capabilities in light of recent efforts that have resulted in zero piracy attempts for several months.
“I am here accompanying my colleagues from the US Coast Guard – MOHAWK, as we come to partner with Nigerian colleagues in combating piracy here in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
“We have been long-term partners with the Nigerian Navy, and we are so proud of the Navy for the great work that they have done to reduce piracy last year, with no piracy this year, and down by 90 per cent , with their colleagues across the Gulf of Guinea.
“It is an incredible achievement and I think a mark of increasing capacity has been made here.”
In his response, Admiral Wambai appreciated the visiting Consul General and the ship’s company for recognizing the navy’s capability and competence as seamen.
“There have been indices and we have been working hard to achieve this. The international maritime bureau, in April 2022, delisted Nigeria from the list of pirate states. That means we have not heard any piracy incidents over the last 12 months”
“this is a collaborative efforts which is a deliberate effort but it is a planned work due to the leadership of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo that has put in a task and a timeline and followed up with proper guidelines ensuring that we maintain a close relationships with our foreign partners.
He continued: “Going forward such collaboration will continue and that is why you are seeing the US Coast Guard – MOHAWK, in Nigeria, and we will continue to have this collaborative effort of international partners working together with us to ensure the necessary synergy in combating this scourge as no one country can do that alone”
“You have gone beyond giving us vessels, now you are coming to exercise and trying to raise the bar by exchange of personnel. That means you have accepted us and you have recognized our capability and our competence as seamen, if not you would have liked to be teaching us.”
“You say we can come on board your vessel and you can come on board ours; that means a kind of acknowledgement, and to that we say thank you. We have been waiting for such a time that the MoU will be signed and then we will have this kind of exchanges,” he said.
Speaking further, Admiral Wambai acknowledged the joint efforts of other Gulf of Guinea States and international partners in the fight against piracy, to keep the seas open and safe for international trade to blossom.
He also disclosed that in maintaining the collaborative efforts “You have seen the US Coast Guard Cutter MOHAWK here today, next week, there is a ship coming from India. In October, another ship will be coming from the UK.
“So, we continue to have this series of collaborative efforts of international partners working together with us to ensure that the synergy in combating this scourge; no one country can do it alone, it has to be collaborative.”