Nigerian Navy takes delivery of new warship donated by United States

The Nigerian Navy on Friday took delivery of a new warship, NNS OKPABANA, donated by the United States government as part of efforts to tackle security challenges in Nigeria’s waters and the gulf of guinea.

Ownership of the ship was transferred to Nigeria from the U.S. Coastguard in May 2014.

It was the second ship provided by the U.S. government, following the first, NNS Thunder.

Although the ship was a donation, the Nigerian Navy spent about $8.5 million refurbishing the vessel and emplacing its armaments, the News Agency of Nigeria reported Friday.

Receiving the vessel in Lagos, the Chief of Naval Staff, Usman Jibrin, a Vice Admiral, said the addition of the vessel would boost the navy’s war against maritime crimes.

“It is worthy of note to state that the successes recorded by NNS THUNDER in curtailing threats in our maritime domain and the larger Gulf of Guinea region, with the confidence reposed in our country by the USA, that made it possible to acquire NNS OKPABANA,” Mr. Jibrin said.

“The addition of this ship into the NN fleet will certainly bolster our zeal to end the menace in our maritime domain and the region, as well as support the regional and global effort to eliminate transnational maritime threats.

“This nation has always requested the navy to do more and with this, the government recognises that there must be needed platform for the navy to do its job well.

“The present government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan took the recapitalisation of fleets as a huge challenge and has invested huge funds through the acquisition of two Off-Shore Patrol Vessels (OPV) from China and this one from USA.

“It is hoped that by the time we take delivery of all, the NN will be better for it,’’ Mr. Jibrin said.

The U.S-made vessel came at a time of strained relations between Nigeria and the United States, primarily over the fight against extremist group, Boko Haram.

The Nigerian government accuses the United States of not fully supporting its military effort against the jihadist group, by refusing to sell Nigeria quality weapons needed for strategic operations.

The American government accuses Nigeria of human rights abuses in the war against terrorism, and says its laws prohibit sales of weapons to nations with questionable human rights record.

In 2014, the disagreement led to the cancellation of a training programme by American specialists for Nigerian troops.

It is not clear how the transfer of the ship will help relations between the two nations with regards to Boko Haram, as the new vessel will focus on maritime security and would play little or no role in the terrorism war in Nigeria’s northeast region.

The chief of naval staff said: “For us to be able to do effective maintenance, it is better to co-locate the two ships (OKPABANA and THUNDER) in the same command.

“However, deployment should be based on threat perception. If they are closely related and are operating about the same area, our maintenance team can be co-located where they are and sourcing for spares will be easier.

“We have opened a maintenance channel with the American government such that we can always source for spares.

“Apart from that, our maintenance that has been working on-board THUNDER will be maintained for OKPABANA and we will continue to maintain the channel of spare sourcing to avoid what happened to ARADU,” Mr. Jibrin said.

On the partnership between Nigerian and China on the upgrading of the Port Harcourt shipyard, the naval chief said the Chinese team was expected to be in Nigeria by the first quarter of this year.

Mr. Jibrin said a second locally built ship has been launched, adding that the engineering team would proceed with the fittings and installations of all ancillaries.

He said once that was done, the ship would be put to sea, adding: “NNS ARADU is not the first ship built for Nigeria. All our ships before now were built for NN and to our specification.

“It is because we want to quickly meet with the yearnings of Nigerians that we went into acquisition of these ships.

“A ship is not something you can buy off the shelf. It has gestation period from acquisition to take off. It took us four years for ARADU to be constructed, but these ones we are bringing from China took two years.

“But for the fact that we decided that the second one will be completed at the Naval shipyard, the second one would have also been completed by June,” Mr. Jibrin said.

In his remark, the U.S. Ambassador, James Entwinstle, said both countries were interested in a peaceful, well policed Gulf of Guinea, saying the U.S. support has significantly increased Nigeria’s ability to reach the shared goal.

Mr. Entwinstle, who was represented by the US Consul General, Jeffery Hawkins, said most of Nigeria’s security problems come from the sea.

“Many of the regions’ security challenges come from the sea, and this powerful new naval platform will enhance Nigeria’s ability to control the maritime environment.

“OKPABANA is the first Nigerian vessel to have a Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (R-Mack) system on board.

“This system will link back to the NN wider R-Mack network and expand NN’s ability to track and identify vessels throughout the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.

Designed as a high endurance cutter, OKPABANA has a crossing range of 9,600 nautical miles, which is translated at 17,800km at 20 knots.

The ship also has an 80 foot flight deck that is capable of handling helicopters which of course make her an ideal platform for extended patrol mission, as well as a crew capacity of 170 personnel.
(NAN)


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  • Wakawa Aliyu

    To fight piracy and ensure flow of oil…..

    • glo

      USA does not need nor buy Nigerian oil any longer, so what’s theirs to gain by ensuring flow of oil?

  • Rommel

    So without a sensible fleet,what have all these countless numbers of admirals and vice admirals been sailing on,canoes and speed boats?

    • PROF

      They have been sailing Rubber dinghys . Can’t you see their medals

    • swagger

      You just knew we had no military? All na mouth and gra gra. Fake Admirals and generals! We’ve heard the army’s, air force’s stories, this is navy’s. We’ve been running a dying nation. I blame Boko Haram for blowing fowl nyansh finally…

    • Alcindo Satori

      …exactly! And it took GEJ’s ingenuity to rectify the situation!! That’s why GEJ needs to be reelected to ensure the country’s set in the right direction!!!

      • Guguru

        Really? How so?

      • Tunsj

        Alcindo, you had a bad dream about Jonathan being reelected.

      • tundemash

        Cl0wn after 6 years ? And this is free from the US so where has all the defence budget been going ?
        Dumbo must be flushed down the toilet come February. The CHANGE mantra has reached Enugu !!!

  • IN_90seconds

    UN abstention vote has guaranteed Nigeria vulnerability to bribery thanks to USA

    • Guguru

      LOL. Nigeria gets paid when it behaves.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Is it a second hand ship dat will stop boko haram? You give us warship yet you cant give us guns to get boko hara. I dont get it, i thought we had bad human rights record.

    • FortB

      Exactly my sentiments

    • glo

      If you’ve tried, you would have found out reasons why they can’t sell certain arms to a country like Nigeria.

  • Wähala

    That ship is a Trojan Horse loaded with all sorts of listening devices… timely delivered for the elections. We no be mumu like dat. We’ve been sailing nowhere on Dumbo’s Aborigine Armada and survived for six years… six more weeks won’t kill us. Americans say, “There’s nothing like free lunch”. We don’t need ships to fight the Boko Haram which is responsible for our security woes, we need guns & bullets. Sha, good they’re close by because Gov. Fayose, Koro, Buruji and other PDP pigs are planning do-or-die campaigning for South West and that’s bad omen. Welcome #NigeriaElects2015!

    • Tunsj

      You read my mind. Why a used ship and not a new one?

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    This is not exactly the type of weapons we need to confront Boko-haram…food for thought !!The Nigerian government should hire professionals to electronically scan this ship.
    Nigerians must however thank the USA for the magnanimous gesture

    • FortB

      Thanks but no thanks

    • McAlfred Uta

      It is obvious that Naval warships cannot fight BH considering their area of operation thousands of kilometres away from the coast in the North East, so why “your post”. For your information it is to fight off pirates and oil thieves in the gulf of Guinea.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Fair enough but the urgency of the Boko-haram anti insurgency effort will always be in the front burner here in Nigeria and I hope our US friends realise that as well !!

        • D1

          The naval warship is to protect our shores against oil thieves and bunkering whilst our attention is being diverted towards Boko haram insurgency, oil is being stolen in droves by our ‘contractors’ and protectors, hence.

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            Good !! one can only hope that relations with the US continues to improve !!

  • FortB

    Correction, NNS Aradu was not a donation from US. Any curious observer must note how the so called human rights abuses accusations do not count when it comes to providing naval platforms to safeguard where interest lies

  • FortB

    Correction, NNS Aradu was not a donation from US. Any curious observer must note how the so called human rights abuses accusations do not count when it comes to providing naval platforms to safeguard where interest lies. My opinion is we are better than these decommissioned second hand assets. A coastguard decommissioned naval assets becomes our pride? Common Nigeria. We can do better than this, haba. A whole giant of Africa?

    • Umar Dendi

      They meant NNS Thunder.

    • Ogom

      Not really. This is our level. Just thank god & learn how to operate the thing

    • D1

      Your response speaks volume, this shows you are just an officer as you claimed, but knows ‘nothing’ about the capacity/capability of the Nigerian Military.
      This is exactly what discerning minds are complaining about, despite the huge money budgeted for Defence year in year out, this is what we are getting in returns,’handouts’.
      The soldiers prosecuting the war in the NE, are complaining about the weapons, ammunitions and tactics shoved down their throat, they are being crucified and sentenced, not just one but in hundreds. You are here vilifying their actions.
      We know they signed to defend the nation with their lives but using the right tools.
      I bet you have never been at the front in the NE, you definitely won’t be here on the internet writing this!

  • the truth

    The US is a friend indeed. May God continue to bless America and Nigeria. We are getting to the level of the land of the free. Nigeria for our children dont miss this symposium if you are in the central texas region. 3rd january, 2015, 10am. come one, come all

  • UYI111

    All these ships are bug with all kinds of gadget to spy on the Nigeria Navy and by extent Government. All they cared about io prepare ground for genocide in the Niger delta in the name of fighting piracy and bunkering damn it the weapons the Government need at this time is sofisticated long range chopper with precisions etc night vision or the so called drones to eliminate boko haram

    • Yusuf

      Niger Delta people should start thinking right bcus this man is a fanatic and he will not stop at the north. Once he is done with the north he will face the west and rival ethnic groups in the east

  • sanusi adamu

    This is the bribe given to Nigeria for supporting israel & US’s position on refusing to vote for
    a palestinian state recognition.

    • the truth

      Tales by moonlight. So within 24 hours the us made a u turn and gave these ships. Do you know how many months and years it takes for the pentagon to approve this deal, or u think it takes 24 hours to do that. The way some of you think is just repugnant

    • UYI111

      so you think they also refurbish with those millions withing a day?your name said it all another apc anti Israel mugu with lack of positive contribution

  • Iregha Lawal

    Thats a good news about the US relation with Nigeria.
    Thank you Mr. Obama!
    HOWEVER, NIGERIA INTELLIGENCE PERSONELS SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT WAR SHIP IS SCREENED THOROUGHLY FOR ANY SPYWARE.
    THE US CAN NOT BE TRUSTED CONCERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF HER SPY AGENCIES ALL OVER THE WORLD.
    Nigeria Military beware!

    • Guguru

      We take a ship from a nation you do no trust? Your advice does not sound practical. And, even if bugs were placed on the ship, Nigeria does not have the technology to find such bugs and Israel will not help Nigeria find all the bugs even if they choose to assist Nigeria in that effort. Israel’s allegiance is first to the USA, and second to Nigeria.

      • Iregha Lawal

        Say NA lacks the needed technology to debug a spy ware in form of the US gift, do you think NA will be depending on Israel to be able to detect the spyware?
        There are several other avenues NA can explore aside US & israel.
        We are not Israeli & American puppets here in Nigeria.

        • Guguru

          What are these avenues? any evidence that NA has the capacity to debug US spyware? A nation that can hardly defeat a rag tag of criminals called Boko Haram and barely produced 4000 MW of electricity suddenly seems capable of debugging spyware in an intricately designed and manufactured equipment like a ship? What you are saying is the same as telling an audience that a country that can hardly manufacture a motorcycle engine has the capacity to place a man on the moon, right?

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            You are so shallow and simplistic in the head,you hardly know anything about Nigeria. Has the Taliban,Al Quaeda,AlShabab and ISIS been defeated ?There are specialist firms from South Africa to China to Russia etc who can get the job done very professionally and in a short time !!

          • Guguru

            Tawanda,

            Take your medicine so that you can focus. Don’t make us place you in a straight-jacket, buddy. LOL!

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            When you run out of logic you type trash and you know I usually do not go down that route !

          • Guguru

            Tawanda,

            Reeeaallyy??

          • Iregha Lawal

            Sorry. Your questions aren’t mine to answer. Yet I like to draw your attention to the manner Nigerians altogether are responding to the delivery of the warship.
            After failing to deliver on a previous arms deal which was important to the NA in her quest to defeat the insurgence & now a free gift of outdated war craft will attetact the attention of every vigilant Nigerian.
            My stakes are this free gift of war cratf @ a time general polls are near with over 600 case of mutiny within the millitary & the insurgency more deadly, will be abandoned or comfesticated if in any way a threat to our National Security. I can bet on that.

          • Guguru

            Iregha,

            Did America force Nigeria to take the ship? Why is Nigeria taking a gift they view suspiciously? I don’t get it. Much of your assertions are mere speculations. You will need to provide evidence to back up those comments.

          • Guguru

            Irtegha,

            Answer my questions and stop drawing attention to other immaterial thoughts.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Just pay the right professionals and you get anything done. To scan a ship for spyware is not a complicated project for a country like Nigeria !!

        • Guguru

          Tawanda the expert,

          Really? Scanning a ship for spyware is not that difficult? Nigeria can barely scan its system for all kinds of saboteurs.

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            There are companies all over the world who specialize in doing just that, Nigeria only needs to pay the right people for the job,you argue like an illiterate where are you from ?

    • Ogom

      “Spyware”?

  • Ogom

    We say “No!” to Tokumbo cars, but our government has no problem with accepting Tokumbo ships?

  • Titi

    $8.5m for refurbishing? so we are now dumping ground for US army, what do u need a ship for in fighting Boko Haram when the ship can not enter sambisa. By the way, is this the gift for denying freedom to Palestinians or is it the price of putting Nigeria on the wrong side of history

  • Gideon Orkar

    Premium Times when are you going to investigate the saga about Buhari’s certificates?

    I thought Tinubu and Buhari were strange bed fellows but know we know they both are birds of the same feather; certificate forgers. Time for the uncircumcised Haramite to be charged for perjury as the Army has denied been in possession of his certificates as he claimed.

    • tundemash

      NO we are on the rejection of Dumbo from the South East again !

    • Southpaw

      Claiming a certificate is with someone and forging a certificate are two different things…you are not very bright are you?

      • Gideon Orkar

        Ba turenci, ba certificate!

  • Guguru

    This ship will probably sail to Maiduguri to help fight Boko Haram. In that fight, Boko Haram may eventually overpower the ship, while using the ship to defeat Nigerian Army. The Jonathan government shoudl just go ahead and hand the ship to Boko Haram as they have done handing APCs and armored tankers to Boko Haram in the past.

    • D1

      Lol! And Boko will put it to use judiciously!

  • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

    I Don’t Care If Buhari Is A Muslim or Northerner, Nigerians Should Vote Him and Vote Out Jonathan – Rev. Fr. Mbaka

    120 EmailShare

    120EmailShare

    Father Mbaka Says Jonathan Courts Corrupt Officials; Criticizes Other Priests

    by Tony Adibe, Enugu

    Renowned Enugu-based Catholic priest Rev. Father Camillus Ejike Mbaka yesterday reversed his support for President Goodluck Jonathan over his inability to stop corruption and loss of innocent lives.

    He spoke while delivering a sermon tagged, “From Good luck to Bad luck,” during the end-of-year mass Wednesday night at the Adoration Ground, Emene, Enugu.

    Rev. Father Mbaka, Founder of Adoration Ministry, Enugu said Jonathan has surrounded himself with very corrupt public officials. As a result, he said, the President has turned a blind eye to their corrupt activities while millions of Nigerians suffer daily in abject poverty and endless insecurity.

    He said: “Jonathan has ruled for six years. We need change. NEPA is not working because of corruption. The privatization of public companies has not yielded any fruit because of corruption.

    “Jonathan surrounded himself with very corrupt officers who advise him. Nigerians are sick and tired of wasting innocent lives without government doing enough to stop the destruction.”

    He said he and millions of Nigerians were disappointed by the government’s failure to ensure the release of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorists over 200 days ago.

    “Up till now, nobody knows the whereabouts of the innocent Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and we say we have a government that cannot guarantee the welfare, safety and security of the citizens,” he told the congregation of over 30,000 worshippers.

    The cleric said he resisted delivering the sermon which he said came from the Holy Ghost but that God warned him to ensure the message was given to the nation not minding whose ox was gored.

    Fr. Mbaka recently anointed Mrs. Patience Jonathan as the next First Lady in 2015. The First Lady, and the Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu worshipped at the Adoration Ministry where the First Lady admitted that she experienced “a spiritual rebirth.”

    Fr. Mbaka that day released some birds that he said would go and fight for Jonathan.

    But on Wednesday night Fr. Mbaka said Jonathan was going nowhere as far as next year’s election was concerned, recalling that one of the birds – which he released during Mrs. Jonathan’s visit has refused to fly.

    “All the other birds I released flew away but the healthiest of them which is Jonathan’s bird could not fly. I tried to make it fly but it could not fly,” he recalled to a hugely excited congregation that cheered him on.

    When Jonathan was aspiring to become Nigeria’s President, Mbaka said he was happy like other Nigerians but that the bad luck which millions of the citizens had faced since he came into office was quite disturbing; hence the masses want a change.

    “Nigerians are calling for change. We need a change,” he repeated. “We don’t want to move from bad luck to bad luck; Nigerians want to move from bad luck to good luck,” he said.

    Fr. Mbaka criticised other priests who, he alleged, visited the Presidential Villa and other Government Houses in the country to hold “Breakfast Prayer” with the politicians only to collect fat envelopes of money rather than “tell the politicians the level of hardship the poor masses are suffering.”

    He added: “The men of God only go there to dine and wine with the leaders for their own welfare without telling them the truth. But I’m happy that I, Fr. Mbaka, I’m not that type of priest. If you want money, I dash you money because the God I serve has blessed me abundantly.”

    Commenting on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari, Fr. Mbaka, said Buhari cannot Islamise Nigeria as being rumoured in some circles.
    He said he had never met the General but recalled that he fought corruption seriously as Head of State.

    “I don’t know Buhari. I have never sat with him before. I am not being partisan, but I want total change in Nigeria.
    “Buhari cannot make Nigeria an Islamic country because we are in democracy. It was IBB government that dragged Nigeria into OIC. When Buhari fought corruption, people became careful about their actions. Anyone who says Buhari will Islamise Nigeria is not being fair,” said Mbaka. FGD

    • tundemash

      over to the e-rats now….. the CHANGE train has moved to Enugu and was well embraced !!! Halleluyah !!!!

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Brainless maggot,
        The nincompoop hater above is misquoting the priest from what he copied in a lunatic website well known for publishing rubbish but sadists like you would jump on any rubbish to derive one more sadistic orgasm .

        • tundemash

          creek monkey …. this is the story .. how did he misquote ? Reality would soon overtake your fantasy !

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          @Tawanda, this is really classic.

          @Tundemash called out for “e-rats” and you promptly surfaced!

          I have to ask you”why”?

          Na your name be that?

  • Dre Peters

    If it’s for national security they’ll refuse to donate or sell but for the one that will help improve their trade surplus, they are now donating, we all know what they want, iysh.

  • objective

    It is not a ship but a listening device I believe it must be filled with bugs.
    If the government cannot reed it of all the bugs, the government should rather sink it. I don’t think this gift is in our national interest.