AFRICANGLOBE – Several Chinese naval vessels have arrived in Nigeria for a friendship visit, where they will conduct training exercises with the Nigerian Navy.
The 16th naval escort squad arrived in Lagos on Saturday and includes the Type 054A guided missile frigate Yancheng, the Type 053H guided missile frigate Luoyang and the supply ship Taihu.
The Chinese warships and their 600 plus crew were welcomed by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Gu Xiaojie and Rear Admiral E.G. Ofik, chief staff officer of Nigerian Western Naval Command.
The fleet commander, Senior Captain Li Pengcheng said the visit would enhance relations between the two navies as well as the two countries, Xinhua reports.
During the four day visit, the Chinese and Nigerian navy personnel are scheduled to carry out joint training exercises.
China has donated a combat vessel to the Nigerian Navy to assist in providing maritime security. Nigerian media report Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade as saying the vessel has not been handed over yet but the handover process has been initiated.
Nigeria will take delivery of the first of two Chinese built offshore patrol vessels later this year. NNS Centenary will arrive in Nigeria in July while the second will be completed at the Nigerian navy Shipyard in Port Harcourt.
The Chinese Are Coming