The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, embarked on a significant journey to various units and establishments within the Lagos Area, marking a pivotal moment in his Familiarization tour.
The tour was orchestrated to facilitate a comprehensive evaluation of the activities, challenges, ongoing projects, and independent operations executed by the Nigerian Navy (NN) and in collaboration with sister services.
A focal highlight of the tour was the Chief’s interaction with the dedicated personnel stationed in the Lagos Area. Demonstrating his profound commitment to the well-being of the naval force, Vice Admiral Ogalla reiterated the paramount importance of the human element in all production endeavors. “In line with my strategic directives, our foremost priority is the empowerment and motivation of our personnel,” he stated.
He placed emphasis on advancing strategic training programs, notably the Special Boat Service (S.B.S) and similar initiatives.
The Chief of the Naval Staff emphasized the need to equip naval personnel with the proficiency to proficiently operate the state-of-the-art machinery, equipment, and platforms procured by the Nigerian Navy.
He noted, “So, we can train the men in a way that they will be able to use the machines, equipment and the platforms that we have spent so much money to acquire.
“I believe that one’s we take care of the personnel, then they will take care of the machines. We have been and we keep ensuring that we combat crude oil thieves. It’s part of our statutory responsibilities which we cannot take for granted.
“We have been doing it and we are going to improve on out capacity. We will double up our efforts in this regard, believing that we will achieve the desired objectives,” he said.
Vice Admiral Ogalla further affirmed, “When we invest in our personnel, they, in turn, safeguard and optimize our valuable assets. Our ongoing efforts to combat crude oil theft underscore our unwavering commitment to our statutory responsibilities, an aspect we hold with the utmost seriousness.”
Addressing the maritime significance of the Lagos Area, Vice Admiral Ogalla articulated its role as a vital hub for maritime trade. Safeguarding the sea lanes leading to Lagos Port is pivotal to ensuring a secure maritime environment for the nation. In this context, he shared, “Lagos holds a paramount place in our maritime domain. By protecting the sea lanes of communication, we are significantly enhancing the maritime security landscape.”
Leveraging the region’s strategic assets, such as the Bircote base, and emphasizing future initiatives, including the establishment of new bases in Epe, Vice Admiral Ogalla reaffirmed the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to improving the ease of doing business in Lagos. By bolstering security measures in the maritime domain, the Navy aims to bolster trade and investment activities.
The Navy’s vision of synergizing human capabilities with advanced technologies was highlighted, with Vice Admiral Ogalla elaborating on their innovative Force Eye surveillance system.
This cutting-edge technology acts as a force multiplier, complementing human intelligence and other forms of information gathering. “Our pursuit of comprehensive maritime security includes leveraging technology to extend our operational reach,” he emphasized.
Ogalla emphasized that the invaluable contribution of dedicated personnel remains irreplaceable. With a resolute focus on enhancing security across both land and eternal waters – a substantial 30% of Lagos lies within the eternal water area – the Nigerian Navy is committed to upholding maritime safety and promoting economic prosperity.
The Chief’s visit to the Lagos Area serves as a testament to the Navy’s dedication to upholding its responsibilities, fostering personnel growth, and embracing innovative technologies for a secure maritime future.