On December 11, the United States donated a shipment of maritime security equipment worth $180,000 to the Nigerian Navy, to enhance the capability’s anti-piracy and nautical security functions. Regional Maritime Awareness (RMAC) of the country.
The donation includes a selection of sensors and radars, communications and networking equipment, thermal cameras and software, which have been integrated to improve the Nigerian Navy’s ability to track and counter marine threats via its RMAC, the US Embassy in Lagos said.
While handing over the consignment at a ceremony at Nigeria’s Beecroft Naval Base, US Consul General Claire Pierangelo underscored the US government’s continued support for Nigeria’s maritime security.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy in its efforts to secure not only your territorial waters, but also the greater Gulf of Guinea. The equipment we have here today is part of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) which began in 2006, aimed at enhancing the ability of the Nigerian Navy to monitor and respond to various maritime threats in your waters and the Gulf of Guinea,” observed Pierangelo. .
“We have previously transferred two former US Coast Guardsmen to the Nigerian Navy, now known as NNS Okpabana and NNS Thunder, who are proving to be key components of your anti-piracy and maritime security efforts,” she added.
Rear Admiral Tanko Yakubu Pani, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, Lagos, who received the surveillance equipment on behalf of the Nigerian Navy, commented on the longstanding security cooperation between states United States and Nigeria and highlighted its impact on maritime naval defense capabilities.
“It is pertinent to state that the introduction of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability facilities in the Nigerian Navy has greatly enhanced our maritime policing efforts through intelligence gathering patrols. We are indeed delighted and grateful for the continued support of the United States,” he said.
The Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) was developed in 2006 to enhance the maritime domain awareness capability of US partners. In West Africa, it is present in Sao Tomé/Principe, Nigeria, Gabon, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
The Nigerian RMAC became fully operational in 2008. It has five radar sites located in Badagry, Lagos, Formoso, Bonny and Ibaka, as well as operations posts in the three regional headquarters of Lagos, Yenagoa, Calabar and Abuja. The Nigerian RMAC training center, Apapa, was also equipped by the US Navy in 2019.