By John Ikani
The United Kingdom Government has said it would train more personnel of the Nigerian Navy in the fight against piracy, drug smuggling and other crimes.
UK’s Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, made the disclosure on Wednesday while briefing journalists on board of HMS Trent, a British Warship, in Lagos.
Heritage Times gathered that the British Warship is in Nigeria to participate in a French-led multinational training, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo.
The exercise seeks to bring together international partners in the region. HMS Trent is the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years.
What the UK High Commission said:
According to Llewellyn, the training was a signal of UK commitment in strengthening the bilateral relations between both countries.
“Nigeria is an important and valued defence partner for the UK as both countries share threats and we are determined to defeat these and help improve maritime security in the area.
“We would be training the navy personnel on different strategies in combating piracy and other related issues as we believe that this would also help in bringing up various tactics in resolving insecurity in the region.
“We are keen to work with Nigeria to defeat all forms of threats and insecurity in the area and this is one of the step in ensuring that happens,” he said.
Significance of the training
Thomas Knot, Commanding Officer, HMS Trent, noted that the Nigerian Navy would be trained in the fight against piracy and other crime related activities.
“As we all know, we are heading towards the dry season and this is the time where there are influx of pirates so it is of extreme importance that this training takes place.
“We would be conducting maritime security patrol as well as supporting partner navies by helping them to develop key maritime skills and develop plans for future operations in the region.
“We are extremely proud and excited to commence this exercise and we are looking to working with regional partners and also engaging with local communities in an effort to strengthen security,” he said.