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Spanish Naval Ship visits Nigeria to spur bilateral relations

The Spanish Naval Ship (SNS), BAM FUROR, on Wednesday visited the Nigeria’s Western Naval Command in continuation of improving the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Juan Sell, said that Spain was part of the European Union’s Coordinated Maritime presence to preserve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Sell said that both countries have a common challenge especially in securing trading and other activities at sea.

“Our maritime security is your maritime security too and we are happy to see that collaboration between the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea and other navies is yielding good results.

“We know that the country has embarked on a process of renewal and Spain wants to be part of that process so we are ready to support Nigeria and its Navy.

“With each visit of our ships to Lagos and Nigeria, we are building and growing a strong relation between the two navies and countries,” he said.

The ambassador said that they were aware of the leading role that Nigeria was called to play when it came to maritime security in the region and were pleased to be of assistance.

He said that the Nigerian Navy was in the right direction and well oriented towards its mission to benefit Nigeria and the region in the long run.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) l Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Mustapha Hassan, said that Spain had been very active in maritime security collaborations in the Gulf of Guinea.

He said that Spain was a member of the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea and an active participant in the European Union initiative and would be taking part in the Obangame Express 2024.

“Another plus for our relationship is that Nigeria has a positive balance of trade with Spain and the figures for 2023 are very encouraging and we look forward to more trading collaborations.

“Nigeria has been on the positive side regarding the balance of trade with Spain and we look forward to expanding our trade corridor with the country and are also available to help Spain as the need arises,” Hassan said.

The FOC said that the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, visited Spain following the visit of SNS Tornado in November 2023, to have a good interaction with his counterpart in Spain.

“Very soon, the result of that talk will roll out and I know it has to do with training, shipbuilding, and other military exchanges which are a positive outcome expected from such a visit.

“We will continue to collaborate towards maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, and make all efforts to improve bilateral relations between our two countries.

“I am really happy that things are blossoming between the two countries and we have started stacking up the building blocks one after the other and are making progress,” he said.

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