To further strengthen the Nigerian Navy’s anti-piracy duties, the United States has donated maritime security equipment worth $180,000 (70 million) to the Nigerian Navy, the U.S. Consulate in Lagos said in a statement on Friday.
The equipment would upgrade the country’s Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) to track and counter marine threats says the U.S. Consulate in Lagos. It comprises of “a selection of best-in-class sensors and radars, communications and networking equipment, thermal-imaging cameras and software.”
Claire Pierangelo, U.S. Consul General in Lagos who handed over the consignment at the Naval Station Beecroft, highlighted the U.S. government’s continued support of Nigeria’s maritime security.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy in its effort toward securing not only your territorial waters but the larger Gulf of Guinea.
“The equipment we have here today is part of RMAC that began in 2006, aimed at enhancing the Nigerian Navy’s capacity to monitor and respond to the diverse maritime threats in your waters and the Gulf of Guinea,” Pierangelo said.
Nigeria is a long-time recipient of US military and security aids, two ex-U.S. Coast Guard Cutters, now known as NNS OKPABANA and NNS THUNDER, were previously transferred to the Nigerian Navy in 2011 and 2013.
Rear Admiral Tanko Yakubu Pani, Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command, Lagos, who received the surveillance equipment on behalf of the Nigerian Navy, acknowledged the long-standing security cooperation between the U.S. and Nigeria.
“It is pertinent to state that the introduction of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability facilities in the Nigerian Navy has greatly enhanced our maritime policing efforts through intelligence-gathering patrols.
“We are indeed delighted and grateful for the continuous support of the United States,” he said.
RMAC was developed in 2006 to upgrade the maritime domain awareness capability of U.S. partners.
Nigeria’s RMAC became fully operational in 2008 and has five radar sites located in Badagry, Lagos, Formoso, Bonny, and Ibaka.
It also has operations posts at the four regional headquarters in Lagos, Yenagoa, Calabar, and Abuja.