Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nigeria, others begin special military exercise in Gulf of Guinea

21 February 2012

A FOUR-DAY international maritime military exercise codenamed Obangame Express 2012 began in the Gulf of Guinea yesterday.

The exercise, which is being hosted by Nigeria through the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, is being attended by 12 nations: Nigeria, United States, France, Italy, Spain, Cameroun, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe, Togo, Benin Republic and Republic of Congo.

Four warships from the Nigerian Navy have been designated to be part of the exercise +++

Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin told journalists in Calabar yesterday that the “Obangame Express is a maritime interdiction exercise based on simulated scenarios of the most prevalent international crimes at sea. 
According to him, “the strategic objectives of the exercise is to ensure maritime safety and security through international military partnerships while developing trained and motivated maritime professionals. West and Central African nations can improve international investment significantly if they cooperate to protect oil reserves and shipping lanes.”

Admiral Jibrin, who is the chairman of the Obangame Express Local Organising Committee, expressed regret that “pervasive insecurity in this resource-laden maritime environment has resulted in more than $2 billion in annual financial losses, significantly constrained investment and economic prospects, growing crimes and potentially adverse political consequences.”

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