Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Nigerian Navy and the management of Naval Dockyard Limited, Lagos will before the end of this year commission a locally-made vessel, currently under construction in Lagos.
The Naval Dockyard Limited, a commercial entity of the Nigerian Navy had earlier built NNS Andoni and NNS Karaduwa with 100 per cent local content input. The third of its kind with more sophisticated facilities is currently at advanced stage of construction in Lagos.
This facility was revealed during a tour of the Ex-Junior Airmen, Lagos Chapter, to Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos. The Deputy General Manager, Plants, Capt. Abidemi Abu, said that work on the new fighter ship is at advanced stage with hopes that it would be completed by October ending or November.
He said, “The first locally-made boat was the NNS Andoni. The second one was the NNS Karaduwa commissioned in 2016 by the President. “This one we’re working on, we’re hoping to finish it by October ending or early November, to be commissioned by the current administration and it will be bigger than the first two.” The President of the Ex-Junior Airmen (EX-JAM) Lagos Chapter, Tosin Ilesanmi, commended the Nigerian Navy for their relentless efforts towards protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
He also applauded the management of the Naval Dockyard Limited for championing local content by building indigenous vessels to aid the security of the nation’s waters. The EX-JAM are alumni of the Airforce Military School, Jos, selected as part of a system where the best three officers are picked from across all states of the federation following which they undergo military and academic training. Another EX-JAM, and three-time member of Federal House of Representatives, Babajide Akinloye, among others during the visitation expressed their pleasure that Nigerian can now boast of building standard ships with local man power.
The Assistant Manager, Hull and Structure, Naval Dockyard Limited, Akinfolarin Kalejaiye, said that the Naval Dockyard was fully commercialised for the Nigerian Navy where it aided the maintenance of its ships as well as the berthing of Naval and private vessels.
Kalejaiye said that while there were challenges faced with aging facilities in the dockyard’s foundry, there was a great deal of work being done in other sectors of the dockyard, including the heavy engineering section, carpentry section as well as the electrical engineering section. He also disclosed that the facility’s apprentice school had been reactivated for the training and absorption of labour to ensure there were hands available for the smooth running of the naval facility.