The vessels were delivered by Paramount Maritime which is to complete the consignment of military standard boats.
According to Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali, Nigerian Navy has commissioned into service 16 new vessels, including ten small boats and six patrol vessels, which will be used to enhance maritime security and protect the country’s oil and gas assets.
The ten Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) that were supplied by Paramount Maritime include 8.5 metre and 9.5 metre Guardian fast patrol vessels.
The vessels have been accepted into service by the Navy and are part of a total consignment of 14 vessels.
The vessels are all ballistically protected Fast Patrol machines suited to either ship to shore, or shore to shore fast patrol and security intervention duties.
Authorities in Nigeria plan to use the boats for both the Nigerian Navy and the Navy’s Special Boat Services.
The vessels will further come in handy for military training of Special Forces, rescue and patrol operations and the protection of oil and gas assets.
Senior Vice President of Paramount Group Eric Ichikowitz says the procurement of the vessels demonstrates government’s willingness to equip its military personnel.
“The procurement of these vessels by the Ministry of Defence demonstrates the Government’s commitment to strengthening the Nigerian Navy in their critical role of safeguarding the country’s blue ocean economy.
“Under the leadership and stewardship of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, the Nigerian Navy has been substantially increasing the capacity and the capability of Nigerian’s security services in combatting the ever increasing acts of piracy and intimidation in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the Niger Delta.”
Paramount Group is exploring opportunities to manufacture it’s naval technologies in Nigeria through its ‘portable manufacturing’ model which has been implemented successfully around the world.
Ichikowitz added: “Our portable manufacturing model enables in-country manufacturing, the transfer of technology and skills, and the creation of local job opportunities. “Depending on the requirements of the client this could also result in the rolling out of a defence industrial complex, thus creating significant benefits for the economy. We are very proud of our partnership with the Nigerian Navy and through such strategic alliances we can bolster the local shipbuilding industry, economic growth and social development.”
Nigeria is one of Africa’s major oil producer and its shore can sometimes be targeted by unwanted elements.