President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commended the Nigerian Navy for its doggedness in the fight against oil theft and militancy in the country.
He said the navy had impressed him in the fight against piracy, oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
Buhari spoke at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard in Victoria Island, Lagos, during the inauguration of two ships – NNS Unity and NNS Karaduwa – one tug boat, NNS Top Commander Ugwu; and 27 patrol boats, manufactured in the country.
The President, who commended the navy for looking inwards and using local engineers from the Nigerian Navy Dockyard Limited to assemble the fleet, also lauded the contribution of the navy in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the North-East.
He added that the Navy would play a critical role in upcoming continental programmes such as the development of sustainable blue economy for Africa adopted and signed by the African Union in October 2016.
The President said, “It is heartwarming that you have not confined your efforts to foreign sources alone, but have taken your destiny in your own hands by embarking on aggressive local complement provision to assemble your fleet.
“The Federal Government expects no less from you as looking inwards is the way to go amidst a uniquely challenging mix of recession and rising acute security concerns.”
The President, who was accompanied by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and six ministers, said that the Federal Government was making effort to revamp the economy, urging Nigerians to be prudent in the management of their resources to survive the critical period.
Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete Ibas, had said the navy was facing many challenged, including insecurity in the country, adding that it had injected about 100 patrol boats into its maritime operations.