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**As Naval Chief warns Commanders to be ready for consequences of conniving with criminal elements & Fraudulent practices.

By: Kingsley Ononobi – Abuja.

Following the significant decline in piracy attacks in Nigerian waters put at 77 per cent occasioned by the Nigerian Navy’s increased counter security operations against Maritime criminality, oil theft and other attacks, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has exited Nigeria from its Piracy List.

This feat was made known on Tuesday night by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo at the closing ceremony of the 2022 CNS Retreat with PSOs, FOCs and Commanders of Formations in Abuja.

While vowing to “sustain the tempo of our Maritime Security Operations efforts”, the CNS said, “same will be extended to our neighbouring states to rid the entire Gulf of Guinea of acts of piracy and other criminal activities.

This is just as the Naval Chief warned Commanders, “that severe sanctions would be imposed for any act of indiscipline, fraud or connivance with criminal elements in the performance of your duties” adding. “You should be ready to solely bear the brunt of any misconduct from you or your men.

Vice Admiral Gambo said, “As you are all aware, the NN is the cardinal institution in the maritime sector that has the responsibility to lead the national response and prosecution of maritime threats. I make bold to say that the NN made giant strides in ensuring the security of the nation’s maritime environment.

“It is heartwarming to note the significant decline in piracy attacks by 77 per cent on Nigerian waters as reflected in the International Maritime Bureau (IBM) Third Quarter 2021 report.

“I am glad to notify you that the latest IMB report (just last week) shows that Nigeria has exited the IMB Piracy List. However, considering the NN’s lead role in the regional effort at combating piracy and armed attack against shipping, the Service will not relent.

“Also, the NN’s effort at containing piracy in the nation’s maritime domain has earned us commendation by the Office of the National Security Adviser on behalf of the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

To the newly appointed Principal Staff Officers, FOCs and Formation Commanders, the CNS said, “Notwithstanding the immediate gains of the past year, more is needed to be done to curb festering maritime crimes in the areas of crude oil theft, piracy, illegal migration and poaching.

“More so, as the nation’s maritime resources are germane to national prosperity, NN’s operational efficiency remains pivotal to national development.

“As newly appointed commanders, there is an intense sense of expectation that this Retreat has given to you to re-align your ideas and conduct to the imperatives of the maritime threats.

“Bear in mind that your appointment is an opportunity for you to contribute your quota to national security. You must therefore be focused and be ready at all times to squarely deal with issues of maritime threat in your areas of operation.

“You have to be committed and work towards attaining outstanding deliverables of the CNS SD 2021-5. This necessity is informed by the combination of our operational expectations and emergent threat scenario within the nation’s maritime area of interest in a dwindling economy.

“In order to succeed in your new offices, I enjoin you to acquaint yourselves with the CNS Strategic Directives and other relevant NN statutes guiding your various responsibilities.

Consequently, he said, “Let me warn you that severe sanctions would be imposed for any act of indiscipline, fraud or connivance with criminal elements in the performance of your duties. You should be ready to solely bear the brunt of any misconduct from you or your men.

“You will be assessed periodically, assigned key performance indicators and would be expected to judiciously and legitimately deploy resources allocated to you.

Congratulating the senior officers on their new appointment as commanders, commandants and commanding officers, he said, “Always be reminded that your appointment is in recognition of your potentials, hence, you must strive harder to uphold the image of the NN in all your endeavours.

“I must commend the organisers and also the participants at this Retreat for their efforts in putting up very robust interactive engagements. Your efforts have obviously yielded the desired results as the major objectives of the Retreat have been achieved.

“However, I must hasten to add that the achievements from this engagement are only a concept. Your job is not done until you have successfully applied the proffered strategies to optimize NN operational efficiency.

“Consequently, I expect all Principal Staff Officers, Flag Officers Commanding and commanders of formations to take advantage of the useful suggestions made in this forum, towards repositioning the NN under your command.

“On my part, I assure you that the Naval Headquarters will give the required support in a bid to achieve the desired end state for the Service.”

Presenting the Communique at the end of the Retreat, the Chief of Policy and Pans, Rear Admiral Saidu Sanusi said, “The following resolutions were reached at the end of the CNS Retreat 2022:
NHQ was to: (1) Explore new and emerging technologies including satellite technology for a survey of Nigeria’s maritime domain and internal waters. (2) Review NN Training Policy.

“(3) Review the NNOs establishing the NAVTRAC and Directorate of Education to reflect the need to merge naval personnel training and education as inseparable human resource functions.
(4) Develop a standard list of specific tasks to be executed by COs of ships under the first line maintenance schedule.

“(5) Explore the possibility of securing direct funding for NAVDOC from the FGN. (6) Facilitate access to endowment funds and international donor agencies financing for R&D activities of NAVDOC. (7) Set up a committee to consider areas that require the promulgation of doctrine in the NN.

“(8) Provide ship handling simulators for NAVDOC. (9) Ensure that PMLSC vessels are equipped with communication sets that are compatible with NN communication sets.

“(10) Expand NHL hospitality facilities and services to Kaduna, Calabar, Benin, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. (11) Institute training of officers on Leadership in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

“(12) Rejig KPIs for measuring deliverables to accommodate achievements that could not be easily measured with numerical values.
(13) Reintroduce PWO course in NNS QUORRA training curriculum.

“(14) Set up desk offices at LOC and NHQ to oversee and ensure consummation of all existing contracts with OEMs. (15) Expedite the establishment of a Centre for Maritime Research and Security Studies at the NWCN.

“PSOs and AAs were to:
(1) Intensify mentorship for young officers and ratings. (2) Institute workable feedback and quality control mechanism across every stratum of NN leadership.
(3) Reinvigorate personnel evaluation reporting system.

“CPPLANS was to set up and chair an implementation team for the NHA, to among other things: (1) Develop a robust organisational structure and manning plan for the NHA with adequate representation from critical stakeholders across hydrography and other complementary fields in Nigeria.

“(2) Liaise with relevant committees of both chambers of the National Assembly towards facilitating the hitch free take-off of the NHA.

“CTOPS was to: (1) Facilitate NN representation in the National Diving Governing Council. (2) Reactivate the 9-channel line for fixed communication at NHQ and ensure the provision of an efficient official telephone system for staff and command officeholders.

“GMD NHL was to facilitate the floating of a PMLSC to be operated by AMSL.

“AAs (Administrative Authorities) were to (1) Sustain the concept of “Trinity of Command” using the instruments of Captain’s Tables, Rounds and Divisions in the administration of personnel.

“(2) Facilitate execution of quick impact projects in their AORs. (3) Emplace measures to ensure prudent utilisation of assigned resources in the discharge of their duties as the NN would have zero tolerance for wastages.

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