Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has reiterated the importance of having a responsive naval fleet to combat maritime crimes and sustain the economy.
Gambo stated this during the opening ceremony of Maritime Discourse, to flag off activities for the Presidential Fleet Review 2023, which is being organized in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that prosperity of nations particularly littorals are linked to the huge resources derived from the maritime environment as such, any impediment within the environment due to unavailability of a prepared naval fleet, would have undesirable consequences on economic survival of nations.
He said these compelling reasons among others are to further explore and unwrap formidable factors that can guarantee a prepared naval fleet poised to ameliorate maritime insecurity for prosperity.
The naval Chief said that the maritime discourse would provide a platform to collectively interrogate and highlight components of Naval Fleet readiness and how these components could be sequenced to deliver Nigerian Navy operational objectives for enhanced national prosperity.
He said, “It is against this backdrop, that the theme for the Presidential Fleet Review, “Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity”, was conceptualized to support this strategic level initiative and to emphasize essence of a ready and responsive naval fleet as well as its contributions towards attainment of national prosperity.
“A critical consideration of this concept is derived from interactions of the triune factors of the Man, representing the crew; the Machine, representing the various platforms and the Process, which encapsulates doctrine, policy and strategy.
“In order to put the foregoing imperatives into practical contexts, the theme was sub-divided into 4 areas; Doctrine/work up, Logistics Support, Fleet Maintenance and Crew Preparedness,” he said.
In his keynote address, Minister of Defence, Maj. General Bashir Magashi (rtd) said the maritime discuss is apt especially at a time Nigeria is having a sustained and unbroken 20 years of democratic transition, with higher potentials and hopes of a great future, adding that, the Nigerian Navy has continued to play a key role in shaping this great future.
Magashi noted that it is imperative that the nation builds a virile and responsive naval force that will be capable of safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment, ‘where die-hard criminals are resolute on carrying out their nefarious activities with detrimental effect on the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy’
He said the Maritime Discourse was aimed at ‘consolidating our gains and acknowledging our weakest links and rethinking our strategies with a view to charting new frontiers for improved operational readiness’.
“Therefore, as a precursor to the Presidential Fleet Review, I expect this Maritime Discourse to focus on introspecting and interrogating our strategic and operational inclinations towards promoting and supporting our navy adequately.
“This critical introspection is aimed at first, consolidating our gains and making them fit-for-purpose for enhanced operational effectiveness. Secondly, it is aimed at acknowledging our weakest links and rethinking our strategies with a view to charting new frontiers for improved operational readiness.
“It is gratifying to observe that this discourse will garner inputs and draw inspiration and experiences from some of our allies as well as retired and serving personnel who have experiences to share.
“As we make inputs and compare notes, it is important to acknowledge that little efforts ultimately contribute to the larger picture, which I expect will emerge at the end of this Maritime Discourse. I am convinced that this Maritime Discourse will immensely contribute to all facets of our fleet readiness for enhanced national prosperity,” he said.