Tackling Maritime Insecurity: Naval Chief, Vice Admiral Gambo tells Flag Officers Commanding/Formation Commanders to brace up for Reduced Resources from Federal Government due to dwindling revenue; As Navy arrests 45 vessels, recover 1.66m liters of stolen crude valued at #55.1billion.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo on Monday March 7th 2022 told Principal Staff Officers, Flag Officers Commanding and Commanders of Autonomous Units in the Navy to brace up for reduced resources from the federal government but come up with innovative ideas and be accountable in the management of meager resources that will be allocated in the fight against criminality in the nation’s maritime domain.

This is just as the Navy said 45 vessels were arrested in the year 2021 for various infractions while a total of 1, 664, 628 liters crude oil valued at #55.1billion were recovered from maritime criminal cartel in the exclusive economic zone.

Also, the Nigerian Navy took delivery of 121 Ships, Attack and Patrol boats, one AW 139 helicopter while a new Landing Tank Ship for the Nigerian Navy (LST Kada) is preparing to voyage to Nigeria in efforts at fleet renewal.

Vice Admiral Gambo said, “Despite this huge expectation (of securing the nation’s maritime domain from criminalities), let me reiterate however that you will apparently be operating in a condition of reduced resource availability from the Government. This fact emanates from the current challenging economy and the competing demands by other sectors of our national life”.

“This challenge calls for prudence, innovativeness and accountability by the top echelons of the Nigerian Navy. I believe it will again be necessary for this Retreat to try to resolve this albatross of the Nigerian Navy having to make do with limited funding in the face of rising challenges. 

Declaring open the CNS Retreat 2022 with the theme, ‘Optimizing Nigerian Navy Operational Efficiency in a Challenging Economy: The Role of Leadership’, the CNS said, “The Nigerian Navy is the tireless and vigilant custodian of the nation’s maritime security interest. It is statutorily empowered to provide security to the vast oil and gas industry in the nation’s waters as well as our strategic lines of communications.

“Given our present high dependence on oil and gas revenue, the Nigerian Navy is undeniably a major contributor to the economic mainstay of Nigeria. Accordingly, for us as leaders, we must deem it a worthwhile obligation to do all that is necessary in securing the nation’s economic prosperity, within the context of the prevailing national political economy and enhancing our security as a maritime force.

“Contemporary national security challenges demand that leaders at different levels demonstrate requisite superior skills, knowledge and attitude in managing the workforce and resources to meet the organization’s goals and objectives. There is an intense sense of expectation that the Retreat would see to a re-alignment of our attitude with the urgency of the moment and to proffer the best behavioural approaches to problem solving.

“Let me reiterate that, the nation expects so much from us in the onerous task of ensuring a secure Nigeria’s maritime environment. Thus, our gathering here today and for the next 2 days should be focused on meeting the objectives of this retreat.

“Being newly appointed senior officers occupying the top echelon of the Nigerian Navy, I believe that you are fast acquainting yourselves creditably on your roles in your new offices. To have a better understanding of current realities, there is the need for us to brainstorm on the experiences of the past year while focusing on how to realize the outstanding deliverables of my Strategic Directive, leaning on the footprints of former icons of the Nigerian Navy.

“Evidently, this would enable us articulate a way forward in our present security and economic realities which is against the background that this retreat is most invaluable”.

In his remarks, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba noted that Retreat in the Nigerian Navy was introduced to deliberate on contemporary issues of concern to the service with a view to fashioning workable solutions to operational and other challenges for the service

The COPP said, “It is heartwarming to note that the Nigerian Navy’s implementation of strategies adopted in the past retreats, the last retreat being last year has contributed to boosting the Nigerian Navy operational efficiency, resulting in significant decline in criminal activities in the nation’s maritime domain.

“It is important to note the expansion of the Nigerian Navy Fleet and the attainment of other welfare and infrastructural needs of NN. But without requisite leadership capabilities and prudent management of meager resources, we will be denied achieving the end state of the CNS strategic directives.

“And this is coming amidst economic crunch that has led to availability of less resource, despite increased security challenges. This has therefore necessitated our presence here for the retreat.

In a brief on the operational activities of the Navy in the year 2021, the Director of Special Projects, Air Commodore AA Adesina said over 600 illegal refineries were destroyed by Naval Commands, Formations and autonomous units noting that as a result of a recent disclosure by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike that some security agents were complicit in oil theft in the Niger Delta, Naval bases have been tasked to reinvigorate operations against crude oil theft.  

Commodore Adesina stated that out of over 700 operational deficiencies discovered at the various Commands, Formations and Autonomous Units that required intervention, over 300 were rectified and remobilized adding that they greatly assisted in tackling and reducing criminality in the maritime domain.

Towards this end, he said 45 vessels were arrested in the year 2021 while a total of 1, 664, 628 liters crude oil valued at #55.1billion were recovered.

In the area of fleet renewal, he said, “the Nigerian Navy took delivery of 121 Ships, Attack and Patrol boats, one AW 139 helicopter while a new Landing Tank Ship for the Nigerian Navy (LST Kada) is preparing to voyage to Nigeria.

Commodore Adesina said as a result of the performance of the various naval platforms and units, on the scale of the overall assessment for 2021, despite limited resources, the scorecard for 2021 were 58.4%.

Present at the ceremony were the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, the Director Navy at Ministry of Defence, Mr. Fashina Kayode Julius, who represented the minister of Defence, Major Gen Yekini, Chief of Defence Training and Operations who represented the Chief of Defence Staff and Major Gen Solomon Udounwa, who represented the Chief of Army Staff as well as some retired senior naval officers.

END

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