The Nigerian Navy has warned criminals operating within the country’s water ways to steer clear or be crushed.
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Habila Ngalabak, who sounded the warning said this was necessary because the maritime space provides significant economic opportunities.
“It is the lifeblood of our economy, conveying over 85 per cent of the total volume of international trade.”
Admiral Ngalabak spoke, at the weekend, on board the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) UNITY during the conclusion of the Western Naval Command fourth quarter Sea Exercise codenamed “EXERCISE ANUM BUNENG” which translates to mean Calm Waters.
According to him, the Exercise was aimed at addressing the nation’s current maritime security challenges, adding that, “recently, the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other maritime law enforcement agencies collectively developed a document titled “Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution of Vessels and Persons in Nigeria’s Maritime Environment.
“To further enhance the operationalisation of this document, some of the agencies participated in the sea exercise.
“We also continue to look forward to areas of further cooperation and collaboration,” he said.
The Flag Officer Commanding explained that the maritime space provided significant opportunities which were also the lifeblood of the country’s economy, adding that, “It is pertinent to remind us that the prosperity and security of maritime nations are inextricably linked to the seas.
“In Nigeria, the maritime space provides significant economic opportunities. This is because it is the lifeblood of our economy, conveying over 85 per cent of the total volume of international trade.
‘Anum Buneng’’ which means ‘Calm Waters’ in Tangale language, aptly captures the current operational posture of the of the Navy, which is to rid our nation’s waters of all forms of criminality.
“Thus, to render it safe, calm and conducive for commerce and trade to thrive.”
He gave the assurance that the WNC would not relent in its efforts at ensuring that the water was safe and conducive for the conduct of legitimate maritime activities within its AOR.
Naval maneuvers was conducted during the exercise, including search and rescue simulation with the Special Boat Service (SBS) team, tracking exercise, which was simulated to teach the officers how to track and detecting illegal vessels or pirates at nights.
There was also gunnery exercise by the ships and the helicopters and fleet maneuver by the ships involved in the exercise.
The exercise also involved Maritime Combat Operations, Maritime Security Operations and Maritime Assistance Operations.