Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo has pledged that the Navy would sustain the fight against crude oil theft and other maritime crimes, thus ensuring that the country maintains its delisting from nations of high piracy risks.
The CNS made the pledge on Thursday at the inaugural ceremony of 12th Nigerian Navy Games and commissioning of Ultra-modern Nigerian Navy Sport Complex at Navy Town Lagos.
He expressed delight that Nigeria exited from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy List early in the year and no incidence of piracy has been recorded in the last year
“This attests to the Nigerian Navy’s willingness and resilience to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment for socio-economic activities to thrive”, he said.
The naval chief also used the occasion to thank the President, Muhammadu Buhari for his unquantifiable support to the Nigerian Navy.
His words, ‘‘The President within the last year approved the acquisition of two 76m High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels and 3 helicopters to join the recently acquired hydrographic survey ship and the Landing Ship Transport, including numerous fast attack craft to boost maritime security operations.
‘‘Mr President, it is pertinent to state that induction of Landing Ship Tank, Nigerian Navy Ship KADA into the Fleet has further enhanced Nigerian Navy’s naval power projection, within the region and beyond.’’
‘‘Significantly, the ship embarked on its first official trip last month, with military hardware and logistics for the Nigerian Contingent deployed for ECOWAS Stabilisation Support Mission at Guinea Bissau.
“This further confirms your administration’s commitment towards regional stability in furtherance of our foreign and defence policy objectives.’’
On the ultra-modern complex commissioned by the President, Vice Admiral Gambo disclosed that it is equipped with state-of-the-art indoor sporting equipment, a world-class gymnasium, a swimming pool and a standard football pitch as well as tracks for athletics events.
He recalled that the ultra-modern edifice was conceptualised and constructed by the immediate past Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (rtd).
According to him, the retired admiral’s plan was to invite the president to commission the complex at the end of 2020, however, the commissioning could not be actualized due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The naval chief noted that contemporary warfare generally described as being volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, places a huge demand on personnel combat readiness and thus necessitates the need to sustain high levels of physical fitness and mental alertness.
He added that physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for armed forces to meet the increasing demands of the current operations environment of the Nigerian Navy, which has recorded significant appearances at local and international competitions.