… As Navy graduates 1, 585 personnel in Rivers
From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, has charged the Nigerian Navy to braced up for the security challenges in the North-East and Niger Delta areas of the country.
General Olonisakin has also declared that Nigeria, like other African countries, suffers maritime security threats.
He stated this yesterday, at the passing out parade of Batch 26 trainees of the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School, Onne, Rivers State, where 1,585 personnel graduated as ratings.
He noted that the maritime resources had raked in over 80 percent of the nation’s revenue, and expressed worries of criminal activities on the waterways.
The CDS, Olanisakin, who was the reviewing officer at the event, charged the trainees to be apolitical and not to be used by those he described as selfish Nigerians, to achieve their individual interests.
“It is also pertinent to draw your attention to some contemporary challenges which you will have to confront as a member of the Nigeria Navy family. You may no doubt be aware of the security challenges facing our country, especially in the North-East and Niger Delta”.
“Nigerian Navy is actively engaged in the collective national efforts to resolve these challenges which cover insurgency and terrorism in North-East and crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism , illegal refining of petroluem products with its tremendous ecological damage to the environment,”, he stated.
Olonisakin said that Nigeria, as a littoral State, had “a high dependence on maritime environment for her economic survival , shipping activities , exploration and exploitation of maritime resources”, saying that the use of port facilities had over the years, generated over 80 percent of the revenue that drives the nation’s budget.
He said the gain in maritime activities unfortunately comes with the unintended consequences of attracting criminals of different mix.
Gen. Olonisakin said that Nigeria like other littoral States in Africa, had continued to encounter a brand range of maritime security threats as a result of interplay of economic , socio-political , environmental and technological factors.
“It is in this context that the Nigeria Navy as the foremost maritime interest in line with Nigeria’s constitutional goals, projects force well beyond the Gulf of Guinea.
” Invariably our maritime security yearning is consequent upon the nation’s geostrategic realities and the accompanying impacts on its well being. As a littoral State, Nigeria has high dependency on the maritime environment for her economic survival. Shipping activities , exploration, exploitation of maritime resources, as well as use of port facilities, have over the years generated over 80 percent of the revenue that drives the nation’s budget.
“Unfortunately, these have also come with the unintended consequences of attracting criminals of different mix. Nigeria like other littoral States in Africa countries, continues to encounter a brand range of maritime security threats as a result of interplay of economic , socio political , environmental and technological factors
“It is in this context that the Nigerian Navy as a foremost maritime security agency in the country, is critically important. Its mandate envisions a Navy that would single-handedly defend Nigeria’s maritime interest in line with Nigeria’s constitutional goals and project force well beyond the gulf of Guinea”, he noted.