The Nigerian Navy is to establish a naval base in Shagunu, Borgu local government of Niger State, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adniral Ebok-Ete Ibas has disclosed.
To this end, the naval chief has sent a team of experts to the state for on-the-spot assessment of the area with a view to perfecting the required modalities for the establishment of the base.
The naval chief disclosed this in Minna, the state capital through Commodore Olu A. Bankole after a closed-door meeting with Governor Abubakar Sani -Bello at the Government House, Minna.
He said the initiative to establish the base was at the instance of Governor Sani-Bello following a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Monsur Dan-Ali on the need to strengthening the security base of the state.
The naval chief said that the presence of a naval base in Shagunu will improve the socio-economic activities of the area, improve the security of the area as it is the border with other West African countries, a gateway to other countries.
According to him, “security seawards would be provided as part of security check in fighting transnational crime in the border area.
“We are here on the instruction of the chief of naval staff to have a look at the place and to advise on how the Navy can start a base in Shagunu, Borgu Local Government Council”, he said.
He said that both the governor and chief of naval staff were keen on starting the naval operational office as soon as all modalities were completed the base will come alive.
The officer added that the base will kick start with a secondary school and it was aimed at leveraging the people of the area as well as provide maritime security.
“The most important thing is that the process is starting, once the process starts all things can continue, we just hope that soon there will be a navy presence here”, he promised.
It will be recalled that Governor Sani-Bello in company of the Mai Borgu, Alhaji (Barrister) Mohammed Haliru Dantoro recently met with the Minister of Defence, Brigradier General Monsur Dan-Ali to open discussion on the need to establish a naval base in the area.