**Says investment in Navy guarantees ‘our economic wellbeing’

By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja

The Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that past operational challenges regarding insufficient equipment and manpower for the Nigerian Navy become a thing of the past.

President Muhammadu Buhari made this disclosure in Kano on Friday saying “This is because, given our present high dependence on oil revenues, the Nigerian Navy is undeniably a critical contributor to the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

“To this end, the current administration has demonstrated great commitment to addressing the challenges of the Nigerian Navy as testified in recent fleet acquisitions,” he said.

Represented by the Minister of Defence, Major Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), Buhari said, “Accordingly, it is a worthwhile investment to encourage the Navy in order to guarantee our economic wellbeing, within the context of the government’s effort to revamp and reposition our economy for the prosperity of the good people of Nigeria.

“As the Service statutorily charged with the security of the vast strategic resources in the nation’s maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy has proven to be a tireless and vigilant custodian of our maritime environment.

Commending the “untiring efforts of the Nigerian Navy which has seen to the reduction of crude oil theft, violent crimes and other illegalities in the nation’s maritime domain”, he said, ” It is gratifying to also note your zeal and patriotic commitment to internal security duties in the hinterland and the nation’s adjoining waterways as exemplified in the robust deliberations of this Conference.

“The doggedness of your officers and ratings, in synergy with other Services and agencies has significantly contributed to instilling peace and tranquillity in most riverine and coastal communities.

“The reality of our current security situation has thus further affirmed the multivalent utility of the Navy. I, therefore, applaud your initiative in inviting stakeholders to be part of your annual deliberations to synergize towards consolidating on our common maritime security. We are proud to acknowledge your gallantry and service in this constitutional responsibility.

Furthermore, he said,”It is important to mention that notwithstanding the deficiencies in equipment holding, as a Service you have diligently discharged your constitutional mandates”.

Presenting the Communiqué of the conference, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Christian Ezekobe said, “While legislative initiatives by the National Assembly are desirable to bolster the development of the Blue Economy in the medium-to-long term, efforts are to be re-doubled by the NN to facilitate cross-sectoral policy initiatives to galvanize due action on the triad Blue Economy pillars of livelihood, national economic development and sustainable exploration and exploitation of the marine environment.

“Thee Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy is to be recalibrated to incorporate the imperatives of the Blue Environment.

“The Nigerian Navy will exercise all possible initiatives in maintaining its leader’s role in facilitating and promoting the Blue Economy to be duly recognized by maritime stakeholders in order to put potential conflicts over responsibility and jurisdiction at bay in legislative, policy, coordination and resource allocation.

“The infrastructural upgrades and development of forwarding Operation Bases towards having functional jetties and logistics support facilities is also to include the various necessary infrastructures to operate helicopters.

“The Nigerian Navy is to emplace measures to optimize the nexus of domain awareness, capacity and partnership to ensure maritime safety and security” while it will explore all feasible options to improve terrain awareness of the backwaters.

“The Nigerian Navy is to engage relevant stakeholders having MDA capabilities with a view to integrating MDA facilities under one coordinating umbrella led by the Service” he added.

Recall that the Chief of the Naval Staff Conference 2021 with the theme,.” Enhancing Nigeria’s Maritime Security for Improved National Prosperity”, witnessed Present of five papers in “Improving National Maritime Domain Awareness through Inter-Agency Cooperation: Models, Policy Options and Strategies.

“Nigerian Navy Fleet Maintenance Culture: An Appraisal of Naval Engineering Commitment and System Ownership.

“Harnessing Nigeria’s Ship-Building Capability for Improved Maritime Security and National Prosperity.

“Enhancing Collaboration amongst Maritime Stakeholders for Improved Maritime Security in Nigeria” and “Girl Child Education: A Strategy for Enhanced Gender Equality in the Nigerian Security Sector.”

A book co-authored by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AZ Gambo and Mr. Abodun Adebanjo titled, “Developing the Security Consciousness Mindset'” was reviewed by the
CDS, Gen Leo Irabor

He said, ‘”The book is a scholarly piece of work which focused on security education in Nigeria” emphasizing that “the book gave some deep insights into the mindset, attitude and behaviour as well as the importance of these terms in the development of the security-conscious mindset.”

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