By Ebun Sessou
The Nigerian Navy Service, NNS, has said that the ‘Amum Buneng’ exercise launched recently was aimed at wading off maritime threats on Nigeria’s waterways.
Real Admiral, Obed Ngalabak who is the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, WNC, as well as the Officer Commanding the Exercise, OCE, disclosed this during the 2-day sea trip to the Nigeria Territorial Waters.
The exercise was the Western Naval Command Sea Exercise 2018 fourth quarter Sea Exercise for the WNC.
According to him, the exercise is part of the Nigerian Navy proactive measures to address current and impending maritime security challenges to ensure a secure and calm maritime environment in WNC’s Area of responsibility.
He stated: “In Nigeria, the maritime space provides significant economic opportunities. This is because it is the lifeblood of our economy, conveying over 85percent of the total volume of the international trade.
“The maritime space is also a store house to various natural and non natural resources including enormous hydrocarbon reserve which constitute the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
“However, these prospects are constantly being undermined by a wide range of maritime security threats such as crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, piracy, marine pollution, illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing as well as over-exploitation of maritime resources”.
According to him, these security threats, especially their impact on the economic survival of our nation, has resulted in the protection of the maritime space becoming a key priority for the country and in particular the Nigerian Navy which is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of safeguarding these vital national interest.
With the theme, ‘Amum Buneng’, in Tangali (Guinea) language which connotes ‘Calm Waters’, the officer said it would capture the current operational posture of the Nigerian Navy, which is to rid the nation’s waters of all forms of criminality so as to render the sea safe, calm and conducive for commerce and trade to thrive.