The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has identified the dearth of effective collaboration in maritime policing as one of the major impediments to tackling the emerging security situation in the nation’s maritime domain/exclusive economic zone.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC) 2021 in Kano, the CNS said, “Consequently, the present situation calls for constant reappraisals, greater collaboration as well as inter-agency cooperation among stakeholders.
Disclosing that, “In recent times, some federal and local initiatives were initiated towards ensuring greater productivity of security efforts”, Vice Admiral Gambo said, ‘The Nigeria Navy is saddled with the mandate to secure our maritime environment which possesses strategic importance to the nation’s economy.
“As such, the current security threats in the environment are of serious concern to all us as Nigerians. What is perhaps more disturbing is that much of the criminal activities in our maritime environment are directed at the economic lifeline of Nigeria.
“In other words, the scourge of illegalities, such as sea robbery, piracy, crude oil theft, poaching, human and illicit trafficking of weapons and drugs among others constitute serious challenges to the development of the country and the region at large.
“Characteristically, the maritime threats have become of major concern and are evolving and challenging the combat capability of the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders.
Continuing, the CNS said, “In the recent past, a huge capability gap has emerged among the Stakeholders in the efficient discharge of their constitutional mandates.
“I, therefore, believe that this Conference would provide a veritable platform to proffer workable solutions in fine-tuning Nigerian Navy efforts at securing our maritime environment. It is hoped that this forum will facilitate the needed discourse towards identifying viable concepts and constructive collaborative action plans that will support this strategic level initiative.
“It is against this backdrop, that the theme of this Conference: “Enhancing Nigeria’s Maritime Security for Improved National Prosperity”, was conceptualized. The objective of the Conference, therefore, is to elicit proper understanding and develop strategies that will enhance our collective effort to meet present and emerging maritime challenges in our strategic environment.
6Kano state Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje stated that the significance of the conference can best be appreciated through recognizing the nexus that exists between having a secure maritime domain and the socio-economic development of the nation.
His words, “Nigeria’s maritime environment is known to hold a good percentage of Africa’s oil production and significant per cent of the continent’s proven reserves. It is a major source of food stock and supply as it boasts of some of the continent’s richest and abundant fisheries, a vital source of protein need, consumed locally and internationally.
“The region is also a hub of extensive trans-Atlantic trade linking Africa with Europe, the
Americas as well as the Middle East and the rest of Asia.
“Therefore, it is apparent that Nigeria’s maritime environment is endowed with numerous living and non-living resources which if carefully explored and managed, can contribute tremendously to the prosperity, peace and stability of not just the country, but of other nations that depend on such resources within the region and beyond.
“However, this is not the case due to the prevalence of various maritime crimes such as piracy, kidnapping, crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering as well as Illegal unreported and unregulated Fishing in own maritime
“The aforementioned maritime crimes hinder the ability of the country to effectively explore and manage the resources and opportunities contained therein for own economic
livelihood, prosperity, peace and stability as well as for the benefits of neighbouring countries and regions,
“The common impact of maritime insecurities on the economic livelihood, prosperity, peace and stability of Nigeria both within and immediate environment brings to fore the
initiation of various collective responses and interventions at national and stakeholders levels to tackle the menace.
“While acknowledging and appreciating the achievements of the various collective responses and interventions, I must commend the Nigerian Navy for creating this platform for intellectual discourse tailored toward enhancing the collective maritime security
the architecture of the country.
“This Conference, therefore, symbolizes a strategic collaborative initiative between the Nigerian Navy and other maritime stakeholders. It also presents a potent strategy to espouse measures to mitigate the increasing maritime insecurities in the immediate environment in order to enhance the economic development of the country.
On his administrations’ efforts at tackling security issues, Ganduja said, “Our administration has adopted proactive measures and workable strategies towards addressing security challenges in the State, which include: Constituting of a Joint Taskforce on Security comprising Military and Para-Military organizations which work in good synergy in handling security issues
“Establishment of a multi-million Naira Advanced Police Communication Centre at Police Command Bompai Kano to track criminals, Deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) approach to tackle the menace of kidnapping and other
criminalities through the use of one of the best tracking devices in the Country and Construction of Military Training Area at Falgore Forest and provision of Security Dorritories among others,
The highlight of the ceremony was the Present of the book titled ‘Developing the Security Consciousness Mindset’ authored by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Gambo.
The book was reviewed by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.
Present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor of Kano State as well as Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Former Chief’s of Defence Staff and Naval Staff, Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi retired, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla, Vice Admiral II Ibrahim, Vice Admiral Joseph Ajayi, Mele Kyari, NNPC GMD among others.
This article originally appeared in Vanguard.