BY INALEGWU SHAIBU
ABUJA—Senate Committee on Navy Thursday queried the Nigerian Navy, over the alleged loss of strategic assets at Navy Shipyard, Port Harcourt and Navy Dockyard, Lagos.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Chris Anyanwu during a meeting with representatives of the Chief of Naval Staff, led by the Chief of Naval Logistics, Rear Admiral Usman Jibril, asked the Nigerian Navy to explain the reported cases of stripping of its assets in many of its formations across the country.
She specifically mentioned that critical naval assets in Ogogoro Island, Navy Dockyard, Lagos and Navy Shipyard Port Harcourt have been illegally taken away.
She said, “In the past few weeks, the committee has been inundated with reports and protests about what some have perceived as an ongoing stripping of strategic assets of the Navy. Three major assets are involved. Ogogoro Island, Navy Dockyard, Lagos, and Navy Shipyard Port Harcourt.
“This meeting is convened therefore to begin the process of investigation into this report with a view to ascertaining a justification for so doing, if any. We want to know the true position of these assets. Have they been sold, leased or mortgaged for how long, to whom and under what terms and conditions?
“Have these transactions protected the public good and preserved the future? How will the action affect Navy’s future strategic interest? Has this been well considered and protected?
“As the committee over sighting Navy, our responsibility is to confirm that the best interest of the Navy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is protected and that what has been done does not in any way hamper or jeopardize its future transformation plan.”
She noted that the investigation was meant to position the Nigeria Navy to meet the maritime challenges of the nation.
Adding, “Any action taken that will unleash this institution, make it more virile and develop its capabilities in the areas of greatest need – that is, vessel repair and vessel building, which will position it to combat effectively our maritime challenges, will be embraced by the entire legislature.”
Rear Admiral Jibril, however, did not respond as newsmen were asked to leave the meeting for security reasons.