The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has ordered 24-hour intelligence driven patrols of the maritime environment to deny criminals the opportunity to carryout their illegality within the Gulf of Guinea.
Gmabo spoke at the Headquarters, Naval Doctrine Command (NAVDOC) at Bonny Camp, Victoria Island on Tuesday evening where he inaugurated the newly refurbished office complexes, the first since its establishment 32-years-ago.
The CNS also inaugurated several projects in Lagos area including a 300-metre runway with in-built lights and non-directional beacons to aid training and operations in restricted visibility for the Naval Air Wing, Ojo; shoreline revetment at Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT; automated gates and armoury at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) QUORRA; a girl’s hostel at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ojo; two blocks of 16 by two bedroom for senior rates; a block of eight by three bedroom for officers at Navy Town, Ojo; 24 by one Under Training Rating’s accommodation; renovated diving wing at the Under Water Warfare School (UWWS), as well as an administrative block at Tongeji Island.
Speaking after unveiling the projects, Gambo said there were speculations that some Gulf of Guinea countries were being reconsidered to be tagged with the War Risk Premium due to recent piracy related incidences.
He said sustained intelligence led round-the-clock patrols would therefore, ensure that criminals trying to spoil the feat achieved by the NN since 2022 which led to the de-listing of the Gulf of Guinea from International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) piracy high risk zones, were not allowed a breather.
He explained further that the feat led to the removal of war risk insurance to ships coming to the country, leading to reduction in insurance premiums paid by importers on ships coming to Nigerian-comtrolled waters from $5,000 to about $960 per shipment.
“It is on this development that I want to emphatically state that efforts must be doubled round the clock to maintain positive postures toward sustained intelligence driven patrols to rid our maritime space of all forms of insecurity.
“Furthermore, the successful arraignment and conviction of Motor Tanker HEROIC IDUN and her crew arrested last August, is an indication of the navy’s resolve to rid the nation of maritime crime.
“The crew was sentenced after a plea bargain to pay N5 million as penalty for the charge and $15 million as restitution to the country.
“It is to be noted that the vessel and crew will not be released until the penalty and restitution are paid as well as public apologies made in the print and electronic media in Nigeria and Llyod’s list,” he said.
On the inaugurated projects, he said they were initiated to consolidate the comprehensive transformation plan articulated to guide the NN towards effective discharge of its duties.
“These infrastructural developments are in addition to already commissioned as well as ongoing projects like the reconstruction of the Base Flat Officers Accommodation in Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT…
“The Nigerian Navy is cognisant of the significance of essential infrastructure and facilities within bases and barracks as they hasten necessary comfort and essential ambience to bolster security, productivity and efficiency.
“Certainly, commissioning these structures will further ameliorate deficiencies experienced at the respective units and bases. I urge occupants of these structures and facilities to inculcate deliberate positive maintenance culture so that these legacy projects will serve future generations of personnel.
“We must all be encouraged by this and many other achievements of the Nigerian Navy, regardless of unguarded comments and utterances from unpatriotic individuals,” he said