Nigerian Navy unveils new offshore survey vessel for safer navigation

Chinazor Megbolu

In a bid to enhance up-to-date marine geo-spatial information about the Nigerian waters, the Nigeria Navy (NN) is set to unveil a state-of-the-art offshore survey vessel in July 2020.

In statement issued by the  Federal Government agency during the celebration of the 2020 World Hydrography Day,   the vessels has autonomous capabilities.
The statement, which was signed by the Hydrographer, NN, Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Okafor, and the President, Nigerian Hydrographic Society, noted that the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office (NNHO) is set to provide up-to-date marine geo-spatial information on the nation’s territorial waters to diverse maritime operators.
Okafor in the statement explained that the offshore survey vessel would be launched in July to enable it provide up-to-date marine geo-spatial information about the country’s waters to diverse maritime operators and also enhance economic growth.
He noted that the NNHO, with the unveiling, will strengthen partnerships with developed hydrographic offices like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the French Hydrographic Office (SHOM).
According to him; ”this is in order to tap from their experiences toward churning out new nautical products and solutions in the most internationally acceptable format”.
Okafor also pointed out the NNHO’s achievements in recent times had ramped up its hydrographic capabilities with several first-of-its-kind products to support Nigeria’s Blue Economy project.
“As you are aware, during the last WHD Celebration, the NNHO published the first indigenous navigational chart ever produced by Nigeria; NG 2501 (Lagos Harbour Chart).
“This feat completed Nigeria’s hydrographic capacity development as required by the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).
“As at today, the Office has published the second edition of the chart, incorporating recent navigational significant changes that have taken place within the channel,” Okafor said.
He, however, maintained that the office had also published the second indigenous navigation chart, NG 4401 (Ogunkobo to Tin Can Island) at the needed time due to several marine accidents.
According to the statement; “the water within the area had hitherto never been charted and had recently witnessed several marine accidents”.
Okafor in the statement posited that unveiling of the survey vessel witnessed several commendations from top military ranks, the Federal Government and mariners who lauded the initiative and its usefulness of the chart to their voyages.
Additionally, he buttressed that the country through the NNHO scored another milestone in hydrographic capabilities by publishing nation’s first Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC), NG525010.
Okafor further disclosed that as the national charting authority in Nigeria, the NNHO also partnered the Nigerian Hydrographic Society (NHS) on improving the standard of hydrographic practice, methods and technologies among private hydrographic operators.
He hinted that the country would be able to draw maximum benefits from the Crowd-Sourced Bathymetric initiative of the IHO.
“This will go a long way to facilitate quicker survey and chart coverage of Nigerian water and ultimately place Nigeria on the right stead toward her actualizing the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO seabed 2030 project.
“If you look around you, almost everything you see; whether products or raw materials is likely to have arrived the shores of Nigeria by ship.
“Ships, as we know, will be unable to safely sail from one place to another without accurate and up-to-date hydrographic information.
“Therefore, it is safe to say that hydrography is a force multiplier to human survival and sustainability,” Okafor said.

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