Nigerian Navy Facilities
The Navy has operational bases, a dockyard and a shipyard to support the ships. The Navy has extensive ship repairs facilities, which include: The Fleet Support Groups in Lagos and Calabar that provide immediate support to ships' technical officers for equipment repair and calibration. Major repairs are carried out at either the Nigerian Naval Dock Yard in Lagos or the Shipyard at Port Harcourt (PH). Prior to the commissioning of the Naval Dockyard and Shipyard in 1990, the NN carried out its refit programs in Europe with the shipbuilders. This included the refit of NNS OBUMA in the 1970s at Wilton Feynoord Shipyard in Holland, the German FAC(M) in Fr Lursen Shipyard in Germany, the French Fast Attack Craft (Missiles) FAC(M) in Construction Mechanique Normandie (CMN) Shipyard in Cherbourg France, and the MK 3 Corvettes at Vosper Thornycraft Shipyard in the United Kingdom (UK). These ships were refitted to their designed specifications.
The need to develop capacity to refit ships locally for strategic reliance, led to the construction of the Naval Dockyard in Lagos. The dockyard was partially commissioned in 1990 by putting the graving docks and some workshops into use. The Nigerian Ports Authority owns a floatingdock, which is operated in conjunction with a private company. The NPA floatingdock is also a major asset to the ship repair companies. The NPA floating dock, Niger dock and Underwater Engineering Coy Ltd had provided valuable services to the Nigerian Navy for instance NNS LANA was refitted at Nigerdock over a period of four years by Messrs Navimor. Other ships had been docked at Nigerdock and NPA, whileUnder Water Engineering Company was responsible for re-floating NNS RUWANYARO.
NNS ARADU, NNS AMBE, the FAC(M)s and NNS YOLA were some of the ships that have been refitted locally in these yards. The German shipyard Blohn + Voss that built NNS ARADU and some local contractors were involved in these refits under the supervision of the Fleet Maintenance Corps (FMC) of the NN. NNS LANA was also refittedat the NIGERDOCK Shipyard at Snake Island in Lagos. A few of the ships refitted locally, such as NNS YOLA were towed to their berths, while others could not be refitted to the optimal state of operational readiness desired.
The Nigerian Navy lacks adequate support facilities. The shore water supply to the ships especially in the Western Naval Command area is inadequate. Occasionally, water has to be brought to ships by water tankers before proceeding to sea. Shore power supply is irregular and even when available; the voltage is sometimes too low to run the machineries onboard. Ship-borne generator must be used a lot of the time. No wonder that ship-borne generators tend to break down frequently.
The jetties are old and lack good berthing facilities such as fenders. The Calabar jetty is grossly inadequate to accommodate the ships and boats in that area. The unclear sunken wrecks near the Calabar jetty has complaints by the commanding officers that finger jetties do not afford easy maneuvering of ships both during casting off and coming alongside. The consequences are the dents on the hulls of Nigerian Navy ships and damage to the jetty structure.
By 2010 the 50 tons slipway at NNS BEECROFT had not been operational for more than 15 years. The 25 tons NNS VICTORY slipway though reactivated, had gone bad for more than 10 years. It cannot handle any weight of more than 30% of its installed capacity due to degraded slips and wire ropes. Absence of operational slipway has hampered the maintenance of the boats.
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