Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Navy has reiterated its commitment to promote laws on improved funding for naval operations particularly at the Eastern Naval Command, ENC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Yusuf Gagdi, said this in Calabar, when he led his team on an oversight function to formations within the Eastern Naval Command area of operations.
Gagdi described the feat achieved by the Nigerian Navy within the ENC area of operation as satisfactory and worthy of support.
According to him, “the Eastern Naval Command’s operational achievements were impressive despite the challenges in the command, which included the need for the extension of platforms, reconstruction of jetties and acquisition of boats.”
Gagdi further noted that the committee was in Calabar area for its Constitutional oversight function, stating “the needs of the command were germaine requirement for optimum performance of the Nigerian Navy.”
The House Committee Chairman, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the contractors at some of the projects site for trying to shortchange the navy.
He said; “We are here based on the requirement of Section 88/89 of the 1999 Constitution to conduct oversight; to see what the Nigerian Navy has been doing with tax payers’ money and to equally justify reasons why there should be increment or reduction in what should be appropriated to the navy in 2022.”
Gagdi said, “I am impressed with the Nigerian Navy; they have performed very well. But again on the contractors’ part, some of the locations of the projects leave one with lots of questions to be answered.
“We will be the last representatives to allow tax payers money to be wasted; and this waste is not coming from the Navy. It is from the contractors and that was why we screamed at some of the places and called on the contractors to ensure that whatever they are doing stand the tests of time and it is equally in line with what is provided for in the bill of quantities.”
“We will continue to do our job. We do not have any limitations as to donations of our powers based on the representatives of the Nigerian people whether we should ask navy questions or the contractor. Anything that is under the navy, we should superintend over it.
“I am assuring you that few of those contractors that have not done well, the House Committee on Nigerian Navy under my own leadership and the ninth assembly under Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila will continue to do the best to ensure that there is accountability in what the national assembly appropriated for, either in terms of budgetary processes, special interventions and grants and what have you,” Gagdi said.
He commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo for repositioning the Nigerian Navy to achieve enviable heights.
Prior to conducting the House of Representatives Committee around Navy formations, the FOC of the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanusi Ibrahim said the command since January 2021 to date has recorded tremendous achievements with its operational area.
Rear Admiral Ibrahim stressed that the command needed boats of different types, platforms, and jetties as well as support to tackle the number of litigations.
He solicited the assistance of lawmakers to fast track the passage of the bills, which would guarantee increased budgetary allocation to the ENC.