The Indian Navy Ship (INS) Sumedha on Friday paid a port call to Nigeria to improve existing bilateral relations and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Mustapha Hassan, said such visits were good for improving friendship, cooperation and interoperability between the two countries.
Mr Hassan said this while welcoming the crew of INS Sumedha to the Western Naval Command Headquarters, Apapa, Lagos State.
The FOC said such visitation aligned with the vision of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, towards improving security in Nigerias’ maritime domain.
“The Nigerian Navy, in particular, has had a good relationship in terms of training support, hardware exchanges, port visits and exercises.
“The collaboration between the two countries is good for enhancing national security and, in this case, security in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
Mr Hassan said the Nigerian Navy and the Indian Navy would be having a joint exercise called the Passex, which would further consolidate security gains in the Gulf of Guinea.
Also, the Indian Defence Attachè to Nigeria, Col. Romi Singh Legha, said the visit further increased interoperability between the two navies and improved anti-piracy operations.
“Nigerian Navy, primarily along with other navies in the region in the Gulf of Guinea, has been instrumental in controlling piracy in the last two years.
“To further this success, the INS SUMEDHA has joined to help in this operation which the Nigerian Navy is carrying out,” he said.
Mr Legha said there would be cross-deck visitations across ships where officers of both countries would visit each other’s ships and conduct training onboard.