Aiteo Group donates Vietnamese patrol boats and other equipment to the Nigerian Navy
Written by Justin Cronje/Guy Martin -
16th Aug 2021
Nigerian energy conglomerate Aiteo Group has donated 50 vessels as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) to the Nigerian Navy to combat the attacks on oil and gas facilities in the region.
The indigenous oil firm handed over 21 gunboats, 14 patrol boats and four high-speed interceptor boats to the Nigerian Navy in Port Harcourt on 4 August. Other equipment donated included seven houseboats, four airboats, long-range surveillance drones and six high-definition cameras.
It appears the vessels were manufactured in Vietnam by the Hong Ha Shipbuilding Company and James Boat. According to VietDefense, founder and CEO of Aiteo Group Benedict Peters ordered at least ten 15-metre-long armoured patrol boats from Hong Ha on behalf of Nigerian company Marine Assets and Offshore Equipment Limited. Peters has apparently invested $2 million into the Hong Ha Shipbuilding Company.
Another Vietnamese Company called JSC James Boat has also built vessels for Nigeria, with 50 NP-650 patrol boats delivered in December 2019. In early 2020, it emerged that James Boat was building at least ten more boats for Nigeria, and photos taken during a handover ceremony in Vietnam show the same NP-650 design as those donated last week by Aiteo.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said the hardware would be deployed to creeks to fight oil theft, piracy and sea robbery.
“The delivery of these platforms and assets aligns with the provisions of the Nigerian Navy 2021-2030 strategic plans on inter-agency and sub-regional cooperation.
This is a milestone in our collaborative engagement with corporate maritime stakeholders to rid the nation’s maritime environment of criminal elements and economic saboteurs,” said Gambo.
The new platforms will also be deployed to complement other internal security operations across Nigeria, noted Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Iraboh.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, said, “Interestingly, the state government had also donated gunboats, patrol vehicles and other assets to security agencies as part of commitment to protecting lives and property in the state.”
“We also initiated a current security summit where we engage with the military and security agencies to map out strategies to combat crime in rivers,” added Wike.
Peters said that Aiteo Group decided to donate the equipment to the navy due to the frequent attacks on oil and gas facilities by criminals. Represented by the Director of Aiteo, Andrew Oru, he said he was optimistic that the equipment will complement Nigeria’s efforts to ensure maritime security.
Nigerian energy conglomerate Aiteo Group has donated 50 vessels as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) to the Nigerian Navy to combat the attacks on oil and gas facilities in the region. The indigenous oil firm handed over 21 gunboats, 14 patrol boats and four high-speed...
The goal of this list is to comprehensively catalogue Nigeria's current inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In an effort to streamline the list and avoid unnecessary confusion, this list only includes military-grade UAVs or military drones associated with Nigeria's defence industry that have at least some chance of entering service.
- If several configurations of a drone with one designation are known, they are added as such.
- The part within the apostrophes refers to other designations or an unofficial designation.
(Click on the equipment to get a picture of them in Nigerian service)
Turkish Shipyard Dearsan to Build 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels for Nigerian Navy
The Nigerian Navy signed a contract with a Turkish company, Messrs Dearsan Shipyard Limited for the purchase of 2 brand new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The 2 vessels are expected to be completed within 37 months. The contract signing ceremony was another milestone achievement by the Nigerian Navy in naval fleet renewal effort towards realizing 2021-2030 Strategic Plan. The President Muhammadu Buhari granted approval for the Nigerian Navy to procure 2 High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels with the capability to carry out maritime interdiction operations, surveillance and special forces operations as well as provide naval fire support to land forces.
The Nigerian Navy has in the last couple of months brought to bear her dominant status in the region by sustaining an aggressive presence in the nation’s maritime environment, leading to drastic reduction in acts of criminality in the domain. This development has been acknowledged by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its Global Piracy Report of 14 July 2021, indicating the lowest total of piracy and armed attacks against ships in 27 years. According to the CNS, this report was corroborated by the Defence Web maritime security report of 15 October 2021 which noted further decline in reported cases of piracy and armed attacks against shipping in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), a development he attributed to the impact of NN maritime security operations efforts.
The Chief Executive Officer of Dearsan, Mr Murat Gordi and Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo. (Photo by Nigerian Navy)
The Offshore Patrol Vessel 76 (OPV 76) designed by Dearsan Shipyards to meet the operational requirements of the littoral waters. These patrol boats conduct patrol and security duties in or around harbors & coastal areas. The OPVs will also be capable of conducting search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations and disaster relief operations among others. The hull of the ship is built from AH-36 steel and superstructure is Sealium. The OPV 76 is 78.6 meters long and 11 meters wide. The draft of the ship is 2.9 meters and the displacement is about 1200 tons. It can reach a top speed of 26 knots, and has a range of 3000 nautical miles with economical speed. The ship can be operated by a crew of 46.
Messrs Dearsan Shipyard Limited (Dearsan) is a modern shipyard, which operates in Istanbul, Turkey. DEARSAN Shipyard has the ability to build 9 ships of various types at the same time with its 126 m long skid, 15.341 m2 closed ship building site, 15.870 m2 open area and 31.211m2 total area. DEARSAN specializes in the design and construction of private military ships, with the integration of weapon systems, as well as in the construction of complex commercial ships such as tugboats, fuel/chemical tankers, fast passenger ferries. DEARSAN shipyard has proved its worldwide design, engineering, fabrication and installation capability with its facilities and experienced workforce.
The seafarers said they had reported the impending disaster to the authorities.
Nimasa has, however, absolved itself of blame.
But Osagie Edward, a spokesperson for the maritime authority, said the boat belonged to a private security contractors and was among 24 vessels seized by an anti-corruption agency several years ago from individuals who it is alleged bought them from the proceeds of corruption.
"It must be stated that this vessel was not in our jetty and under our management at the time of the incident. The crew onboard do not report to Nimasa but to Global West management, its owners," he is quoted by local media as saying.