Navy repositions to tackle maritime threats

Chiamaka Okechukwu, Lagos

The Nigerian Navy has said it is set to reposition its  operations in light of the emerging security threats in the nation’s maritime domain.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, made this statement at a seminar organised for its personnel to celebrate the Navy’s 61st anniversary.

Vice Admiral Ibas said the process would encompass the development of lasting policies and strategies for enhanced operational efficiency and attitudinal change.

“Human resource constitutes the most important asset for the Navy to perform its constitutional and emerging roles.

“One of the emerging concepts in this rapidly changing world is the recognition of the human factor as the major and pre-eminent factor in achieving results for organisation, military forces and countries.

Memory lane

The naval boss said it was worthy to note that the Navy has evolved in the last 61 years from a constabulary Navy with 11 assorted ships and crafts with about 200 personnel to a fully fledged navy.

“We are now capable of executing the dimensions of warfare as well as provide auxiliary services.Hence, optimal human resource management and continuous development has been pivotal to the success achieved so far in the implementation of our roles.”

He said that ever changing dynamics of maritime operations and security have continued to impose enormous challenges on the Nigerian Navy.

“It is safe to assume that the current economic situation in the country necessitates prudence in managing material and human resources,” he said.

Manpower development

The CNS said that part of his key priorities since assuming office was to promote the Navy’s manpower development to achieve optimal professional capacity of personnel.

He said, to this end, the Navy’s policy on operational, type and on the job training had been reviewed.

According to him, the force has commenced accreditation and affiliations of its professional schools to internationally recognised bodies.

“Thus, this seminar is aimed at enhancing the Navy’s human resources management and administration in line with my Strategic Directives.

It is geared towards further enlightening and educating personnel on issues bordering on attitudinal change, administration and work ethics,’’ Ibas said.

Meanwhile, an Indian Naval Frigate, INS TARKASH,  berthed in Lagos to join Nigerian Navy in its 61st anniversary celebration.

This visit will further foster existing bilateral relationships and boost the capacity of military personnel.

The Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Zituraj Sahu, who led the Indian naval team, told journalists that  INS TARKASH would also undertake tactical and operational trainings with NawaNigerian Navy personnel and offer free medical services to the populace.

“When we make visits like this, we usually do some benevolent activities.This time around, we would undertake few medical services for the needy.The ship’s medical team would be there to render whatever medical attention is needed.”

The INS has a total of 300 crew onboard including 36 officers.