The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday said Muhammadu Buhari would commence Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) 2023, from Friday 19 — Monday 22 May 2023 in Lagos.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo stated this at a press conference held in the Naval headquarters Abuja, NHQ
PFRs are traditional events, which navies across the world conduct in order to honour their sovereigns or heads of government. It involves assemblage of ships and other maritime assets at a designated area for the purpose of demonstrating loyalty and allegiance to the State.
During a PFR, the president/head of state is invited to review the fleet in commemoration of a historical event, celebration of important anniversary or any other activity deemed necessary. Some of the occasions to organise a fleet review include special landmarks of either the navy or the country.
Gambo who was represented by Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, chief of policy and plans NHQ, said the review is an avenue for the President to assess the navy’s preparedness to meet statutory obligations in maritime security, safety and defence within a global/regional collaborative approach.
According to him, the high point of the PFR-2023 will be on Monday 22 May 2023 at the NDL from 9am — I 2noon. During the event, Buhari is expected to review the NN Fleet at anchorage along Lagos channel and commission 2 ships (NNS KADA and NNS IBENO) and a recently acquired NN helicopter.
Garba noted that “ there will also be a Guard of Honour for the President, ceremonial sailing Pass Exercise (PASSER), combat and aerial displays. Other activities lined up for the day include capability demonstration by NN Special Forces, defence/maritime expo exhibition, combined naval parade and exercises.”
“The PFR involves 16 NN warships, 3 x AW109E NN helicopters and a mix of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Aircraft. The participating NN ships are NNS THUNDER, NNS CENTENARY, NNS IKENNE, NNS KADA, NNS LANA, NNS KANO, NNS NGURU, NNS IBENO, NNS ABA, NNS Oil, NNS ANDONI, NNS OSUN, NNS OSE, NNS EKULU, NNS GONGOLA and NNS SHIRORO. The participating NAF aircraft are 1 x MI35 Helicopter, 1 x Diamond-42, 1 x ATR-42 MPA and 3 x A29 Super Tucano,” Garba noted.
He said some foreign warships from allied nations including Spain, Brazil and Ghana are also expected to participate in the exercise.
The NN has attended many Fleet reviews with the nation’s Flag Ship, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) ARADU particularly, in the UK in 2005 to celebrate the Bicentenary of the battle of Trafalgar and in 2007 in Brazil to celebrate the centenary of the Brazilian Navy. NNS THUNDER also sailed to Australia in 2013 to celebrate the centenary of the Australian Navy. More recently, the NN sent personnel to participate in the Bangladesh.