Capt. Sathis Vasudev, the Commanding Officer of the visiting Indian Naval Warship, INS Tarkash, on Thursday said that the officers were in Nigeria to learn from their Nigerian counterparts. Vasudev told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos shortly after the ship berthed that they were not only visiting to celebrate 60 years of Nigeria and India’s diplomatic relations. According to him, Nigeria is currently the only country in West Africa which India has Navy cooperation with.
We are here to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Indian and Nigerian diplomatic ties. Let me say that India established ties with Nigeria even two years before Nigeria got Independence. “We understand that there are issues of piracy. And the Nigerian Navy is doing an excellent job in its fight against piracy. “As part of our visit, we will like to learn from the the Nigerian Navy how best to tackle issues of piracy, especially in the Gulf of Eden. It will be an honour for us to get some inputs from the Nigerian Navy,” he said. The commanding officer said that over the years there had been training exchanges between the Nigerian and Indian Navy in different areas, adding that the exchanges would continue in the years ahead. Vasudev said that it was in promoting defence cooperation with Nigeria that made the Indian government to support the establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy. He also said that his home government had over the past years continued to invite members of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Airforce for different training programmes in India. Vasudev said that the warship had visited Djbounti, Egypt, Morocco, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Norway, Spain and Senegal before coming to Lagos. (NAN)