The British Royal Navy has sent its patrol ship, HMS Trent, to the waters of the Gulf of Guinea to carry out security patrols and a mission to support allies in West Africa.
The River-class patrol ship will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, and will take part in French-led multinational training exercises that will bring together international partners in the region, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo.
HMS Trent, which is the first Royal Navy vessel to operate in the region for three years, will conduct maritime security patrols as well as support partner Navies by helping them to develop key maritime skills and develop plans for future operations in the region.
This deployment is a clear signal of the UK’s commitment to being more persistently engaged in the region, through which more than £6 billion of UK trade passes every year.
According to James Heappey, Britain’s Armed Forces Minister, “This deployment shows the Integrated Review in action. It demonstrates how a truly Global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges.
”Working hand-in-hand with our allies, we are utilising our forward-deployed Armed Forces to tackle threats at the source, making the world a safer place for all’
HMS Trent carries onboard a contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando, which will train partner forces across the region in skills like boarding and searching of suspicious vessels, as well as evidence handling and medical skills.
Apart from training partner nations, 42 Commando are experts in boarding operations helping fight against illegal activity like piracy, drugs-smuggling, and terrorism.
HMS Trent will attend the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (FoGG) G7++ conference in Dakar, which the UK is co-chairing with hosts Senegal. Britain established the group in 2013 as part of the then G8 to coordinate regional maritime security efforts.
The Commanding Officer of HMS Trent, Commander Thomas Knott said “Continuing a year of forward-deployed operations in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, this deployment marks an important return to the region for the Royal Navy demonstrating our commitment to improving Maritime Security in the area”
”We are extremely proud and excited to commence this deployment to what is an exciting new region for HMS Trent. We are looking forward to working with regional partners and also engaging with local communities in an effort to strengthen security”
HMS Trent is one of five Royal Navy patrol ships that are currently operating around the world in areas of critical importance to the UK – from the Indo-Pacific, South Atlantic to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
This is part of the Royal Navy’s Forward Presence programme that seeks to put patrol ships in positions around the globe ready to respond to global events.
HMS Trent finished preparations for her patrol to West Africa this week in the waters close to Gibraltar, refreshing skills following a period of maintenance and a rotation of crew.
The patrol ship will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, conducting patrols and helping partner Navies to build capacity through training.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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