The Brazilian Navy frigate “UNIAO,” which is visiting Nigeria for a maritime interdiction mission called “GUNEX” in the Gulf of Guinea, was greeted by the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command on Friday.
On a similar operation, the Brazilian Navy frigate “Independencia” has previously visited Nigeria in September 2021.
According to the Nigerian Navy, the visit aims to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and relations between Nigeria and Brazil, ensuring secure passage for commercial ships.
The Brazilian frigate is in Nigeria for collaborative exercises to preserve security in the Gulf of Guinea, according to Amb. Francisco Carlos Soares Luz, the Consul General of the Brazilian Consulate in Lagos, who led the delegation on the visit to the Western Naval Command’s Apapa Headquarters.
“We have a responsibility to maintain the neighborhood’s safety as neighbors. This is my second time taking part. And I hope that we continue to work together in the upcoming years and that this will become an annual event.
The military component was initially quite strong in our cooperation, which began when we recognized Nigeria’s independence in the 1960s. Currently, there is a return of our previous mutually beneficial relationships.
“We made more of an effort to reopen our defense attaché office in Abuja, and this is beneficial for training and taking part in joint operations. Brazilians have begun traveling to Nigeria for training sessions because of this, said Ambassador Soares Luz.
The Task Force Commander, Capt. Leta Basil, also spoke, noting that the Frigate, the Helicopter, and other Special Group Operations are in Nigeria to work together for a better maritime environment.
“We have our helicopter, frigate, and special group operation right here. We are here to collaborate with Africans. And before arriving here, we visited other nations. In order to improve our force and exercise, we have been performing workouts with the participants. Capt. Basil stated that we are practicing boarding procedures, maneuvers, and helicopter operations.
The crew also included Col. Amyr DOS Santos, Brazil’s defense attaché in Nigeria, and Commander Sandir, commanding officer of the Brazilian naval ship UNIAO.
Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, stressed the need of collaboration in developing the skills of the Nigerian Navy, saying that knowledge and experience sharing would enhance operations aimed at maintaining a secure marine environment.
The Navy is the only branch of the armed forces that visits the armed forces of other nations with its equipment and is warmly welcomed, he added. “Navies internationally, have a standard duty, which is diplomacy.
“Therefore, the tour is to Nigeria as a whole rather than just the Western Naval Command. We are receiving them militarily as part of our ongoing mission to ensure that our seas are safe”
“Like the Consular General said, we are on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean; they are to the west of us. Therefore, it is something that unites us all.
“They are impacted if anything goes wrong here. They are therefore returning, just as they did the previous year. To maintain the cooperation we have had since our freedom, they have now arrived with a second ship. Everyone is involved in security.