• Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

    Southwest Naval Boss Highlights Navy’s Protection Of Creeks And Other Areas

    The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan, has highlighted the effective protection of creeks and other areas by the Navy in the Southwest region.

    Over the past year, the continuous presence of naval warships and boats at sea and strategic channels successfully thwarted criminal activities.

    Rear Admiral Akpan discussed these achievements during the ceremonial sunset event commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy.

    Between June 2022 and last Friday, Akpan said naval vessels spent a total of 9,740 hours at sea, contributing significantly to maintaining security in the region.

    The deployment of ships and boats was instrumental in combating various maritime crimes, including piracy, illegal bunkering, crude oil theft, and smuggling.

    Rear Admiral Akpan emphasized that the unwavering patrols conducted by the Navy led to the apprehension of suspects, as well as the seizure of vessels and illicit materials.

    Akpan said: “Our patrols have led to the arrest of suspects, vessels, seizures of materials, destruction of illegal facilities. These items have been handed over to relevant government agencies for further actions.

    “The NN has continued to optimise the use of its assigned sea-going platforms to maintain presence in its various AOR. From June last year till date, ships were at sea for over 9,740 hours, and this helped to ensure the security of our maritime domain.

    “These measures, coupled with the efficient use of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) facilities and helicopter surveillance, enabled the command to curtail illegal activities significantly along the creeks and waterways.

    “Significantly, in the last one year, the Nigerian Navy in Lagos area has been able to achieve some of her set targets despite some challenges, especially the just-concluded Presidential Fleet Review (PFR-2023).

    “The scope of activities covered operations, training, doctrine and assessment, naval ordinances, logistics, dockyard services and other auxiliary services.

    “In the midst of these challenges, the commands and establishments in Lagos area have successfully played their roles in ensuring policy implementation, safety and security of the Nigerian maritime domain, training and administration of personnel.

    “In addition, provision of medical, education, infrastructure development for personnel and their families have assisted in providing welfare and boosting the morale and spirit of her personnel.”

    The Rear Admiral observed that, despite facing obstacles, the Naval Training Command has consistently delivered essential and advanced training for personnel, along with efforts to enhance their capabilities.

    “Similarly, the continued efforts of the Naval Doctrine and Assessment Command (NAVDOC) to ensure periodic review of doctrines through assessment of operations, training and administrative procedures have added to our combat efficiency.

    “Notably was their participation in all exercises and conduct of work up of ships and Professional Advancement Examination (PAE) as part of the NN advancement procedures.

    “The NOD (Naval Ordinance Depot) and NDL (Naval Dockyard Limited) have provided critical services in ensuring the operational readiness and effectiveness of NN operations. Provision and maintenance of essential naval ordinances, like arms, ammunition as well as ship design, construction and refit have assisted greatly in the service delivery of the NN in Lagos area.

    “Equally, the Nigerian Navy Hydrography Office has been key to naval operations, especially in the aspect of mapping our maritime domain.

    “I am glad to highlight that the survey and mapping of entrances to Lagos channel – Ondo State to the Atlantic Ocean as well as Lokoja through Burutu in Delta State all the way to the Atlantic Ocean – have been carried out.

    “Their activities have assisted greatly in ensuring safety of naval and commerce shipping activities.

    “Also commendable and running quietly in the background but ensuring the welfare and morale of the personnel is maintained are the activities of the Central Pay Office (CPO),” he said.

    The FOC expressed gratitude towards various sister services, including the police, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and others, for their collaborative efforts.

    He also extended a special thanks to the Lagos State government and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for their unwavering commitment and support to the Nigerian Navy in the Lagos area.

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