The high-level event was organized jointly by the Nigerian Navy, the EU Delegation to Nigeria and EU Member States operating under the EU Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) initiative, which took place in Lagos at the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC).
In a joint statement by the Nigerian Navy and EU Delegation, the event solidifies the close partnership that has developed between the Nigerian Navy, the European Union and the EU Member States operating in the region.
According to the statement, in recent years, relations have deepened between the partners through enhanced operational cooperation, joint exercises and trainings, capacity development as well as increased information sharing and exchange.
“All sides recognize that the incidence of maritime crimes, particularly piracy and armed robbery at sea, has reduced across the region according to International Maritime Bureau Report of February 2022.
“An intensified presence at sea and the collaborative efforts by Nigeria, the EU and Member States played their part in achieving this success.
“However, the parties also acknowledged the need to further deepen relations by continued cooperating and with an aim to keep ensuring freedom of navigation, safety of seafarers, protection of regional resources and coastal communities.
“To this end, Nigeria has taken a leading role in regional coordination through the MCF-GOG SHADE deconfliction group and the Nigerian Navy has continuously developed its capacities to secure the open seas, including through the acquisition of new platforms and through the Falcon Eye surveillance system.
“The EU has actively been engaging with the Nigerian Navy through the CMP-mechanisms as well as through regional initiatives such as the YARIS information-sharing platform and with the assistance of the SWAIMS project.
“All sides will continue deepening their relations and reiterate their full commitment to maintaining their constructive dialogue and cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect.”
At the event were; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu GAMBO; WNC Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Yakubu WAMBAI; the EU Senior Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea, Mr. Nicolas BERLANGA; the EU Ambassador to Nigeria,Ms. Samuela ISOPI; the Italian Ambassador for Maritime Security, Mr. Daniele BOSIO; the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stefano DE LEO; the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Juan SELL; the French Maritime Security Coordinator, Mr. Ludovic POITOU; the Consul General,Ms. Laurence MONTMAYRANT as the representative of France; the Greek Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ioannis PLOTAS; the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Daniel BERTRAND; as well as Senior Officers and Diplomats from the Nigerian Navy, EU, France, Italy and Spain.