The Nigerian Navy says it will continue the protection of key economic platforms for the security and prosperity of the Nation.
It also re-assured tax payers in Nigeria that their resources would be judiciously utilized in this endeavour.
Rear Admiral David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, gave the assurance on Monday during a press conference on board the Nigerian Navy Ship Centenary.
Our correspondent reports that the briefing was held on the occasion of the Fourth Quarter Sea Exercise tagged “Exercise Ani-Oforifori”, meaning Chase Thief in Kalabari language.
Adeniran said that the Navy was committed to the protection of Nigeria’s critical asset for the good of the country.
He said that the exercise is being conducted in pursuant of the Chief Of the Naval Staff mission ‘to develop a naval force that is well trained, organized and highly motivated to discharge its constitutional roles professionally and efficiently for the defense of Nigeria in ensuring her economic prosperity’.
According to him, the exercise is part of the strategies developed by the Nigerian Navy over the years, adding that the strategies are Total Maritime Spectrum, Surveillance Capability and Choke Points management regime.
“The objective of the Exercise is to assess the operational readiness of ships, gunboats, helicopters and other platforms of the Eastern Fleet in order to practice the skills of personnel in tackling maritime threats within the Command’s Area of Responsibility.
“The simulated training exercise at the center covered Fleet Maneuvers, Steering Gear Breakdown, Machinery Breakdown, Visit Board Search and Seizure among others,” he said.
He said that the conduct of the exercise would give the Command the opportunity to ascertain the operational readiness of ships of the Eastern Fleet in furtherance of Nigerian Navy policing roles as constitutionally enshrined.
He added that the exercise would also avail personnel the opportunity to carry out series of exercises including fleet maneuvers; drills; Man Overboard; Opposed and Unopposed Boarding; Search and Rescue; Communication; Gunnery; Abandoned Ship, Boat Operations among others.
“Most importantly, the tax payers must be reassured that their resources are judiciously utilized in protection of key economic platforms for the security and prosperity of the Nation.
“It would be recalled that the Navy in collaboration with other maritime law enforcement agencies collectively developed the Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures on arrest, detention and prosecution of vessels and persons involved in maritime crimes within the Nigeria’s maritime environment.
“To further enhance the operationalization of this document, we have with us today some maritime law enforcement agencies that would participate in this sea exercise.
“I wish to reassure you that the Command will not relent in its efforts in ensuring smooth conduct of legitimate maritime activities within the Command Area of Responsibility,” he assured.
He commended the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas for ensuring the safety and security of the maritime environment which he said generates 90 per cent of the Nation’s income.
He however, informed the public that the fleet proceeding to sea is procedural and the exercises that follow should not be source of worry or create panic.