By Okosun Dennis

The Nigerian Navy has said that as part of activities to mark the 68th anniversary of its establishment as a force in 1956, it would be having a two-day International Maritime Conference in Lagos.

Briefing the pressing in Abuja on Monday, 20th May 2024, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral JDK Akpan said the Navy week will take place starting on the 24th May and will be rounded off on June 1st, 2024 with a Ceremonial Sunset/Reunion Dinner at NNS QUORRA Apapa and Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island respectively. 

Accordingly, on Wednesday 29th May, 2024, there would be an ice-breaker at Eko Hotel and Suites Lagos, with the highpoint of this year’s celebration being the flag-off of the Regional Maritime Exercise and the International Maritime Conference by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who will be the Special Guest of Honour.

During the occasion, the President and C-in-C will also commission three newly acquired ships and two helicopters as well as declare open the International Maritime Exhibition featuring international and local maritime security-related companies that will showcase their products and services.

The REMEX, which is scheduled to hold from Thursday, 30th May – Saturday, 1 June 2024, is an International Maritime Sea exercise involving navies from Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America.

However, a released programme of activities revealed that there will be a Special Juma’at Prayers on Friday, 24th May 2024 while the Interdenominational Church Service will hold on Sunday, 26th May 2024 at the Central Mosque and the Queen of Martyr Catholic Church Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja.

Also, there will be Medical Rhapsodies and Naval Officers’ Wives Association Activities (NOWA) will hold simultaneously on Monday, 27th May 2024 in some NN host communities across Commands. 

In addition, The NN will contribute 18 platforms comprising capital ships, boats, and helicopters during the exercise. Some of the foreign naval ships participating include Brazilian Navy Ship APA, Cameroonian Navy Ship DIPIKAR, Peoples Liberation Army Navy Ship XU CHANG, French Navy Ship OSV COMMANDANT BIROT, Ghana Navy Ship CHEMLE, United States Ship HERSHEL WOODY WILLIAMS.

According R/Adm Akpan, the IMC will take place from 30 – 31 May 2024 at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island Lagos, which is aimed at catalysing effective cooperation on maritime security across Africa as a key driver for unlocking the continent’s immense Blue Economy potential in line with the vision of the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS).

The theme of the conference is: “Promoting the Blue Economy in Africa through International Cooperation on Maritime Security.”

During the event, two topical papers will be presented with delegations from about 21 African countries, 17 non-African countries, and 13 International/Regional organisations.

Topmost among others are the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the French Atlantic Fleet, the Deputy Commander of the Chinese Navy, and high-powered delegations from the United Kingdom, and the United States as well as some African and European Union countries will be in attendance.

On the sideline, the Meeting of Gulf of Guinea Heads of Navies and Coast Guards will take place on 31 May 2024.

Admiral Akpan reiterated that the Navy Week Celebration, as with others in the past, will also serve as a scorecard of the Nigerian Navy’s performance in the service of the nation.

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