The military cooperation between Nigeria and France remains intact, according to the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai.
He made the affirmation while receiving a 90- man crew on board French ship Commandant L’ hermimier on a diplomatic mission to the country.
The ship berthed at the Naval Dockyard in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The 2-day visit would afford the French Navy a platform for exchange of strategic sessions with the Nigerian counterparts.
The visit is expected to also include training sessions in safety exercises, diving, as well as running of different techniques for boarding.
Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai said: “We are going to take the opportunity of their visit to engage them in training some of our personnel in some agreed areas where they have the capacity to do so.
“So, in essence, the visit is a welcome development and it only goes to show you that there is bilateral cooperation between France and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
After four years of trial and perseverance, the Nigerian Navy has finally rolled out the first ‘made in Nigeria’ tugboat, named Ugwu.
The Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, disclosed this to reporters on Sunday in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
Rear Admiral Bobai applauded the efforts of those who saw to the building of the tugboat which sailed from Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria to Lagos.
He said the development would surely open doors to more innovation towards strengthening the security of the Nigerian waterways.
“For me it is an achievement for the Nigerian Navy and it is an advancement in technology in Nigeria.
“One expects that the Nigerian Navy will continue to push forward by the building of another tugboat that might be slightly bigger than this and by so doing, we will be able to correct some of the problems that we have seen in the course of producing this one,” he said.
Rear Admiral Bobai also pointed out that the Navy could generate revenue by selling such tugboat to neighbouring countries who may find it expensive to import from Western countries.
“The cost of getting one from Europe or the Americas is quite high, but I can assure you that it will perform the same purpose if we build it here with lesser amounts,” he explained.
The Flag Officer further gave benefits of building such boats, saying that it would lead to advancement of technology, creation of jobs and make a remarkable contribution to the efficiency of agencies that would use them.
With the tugboat, it is expected that the pulling in and out of naval vessels for marine operations would be carried out more effectively and efficiently.