The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, on Monday said that the Nigerian Navy was on top of security situation in the nation’s waters.
The naval chief said this in Lagos while inaugurating eight projects, including Navy Reference Hospital, built at the cost of N178 million.
Ezeoba noted that the activities of the navy had induced a decline in oil theft.
The CNS, who also inspected two helicopters undergoing repairs, said that when fully repaired, the aircraft would go a long way in enhancing naval operations.
He also said that the navy was collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force in the training of the personnel of its air wing.
At the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ojo, Ezeoba directed that French language should be made a compulsory subject up to the Senior Secondary III level in all naval schools nationwide.
He said that French would be of immense benefit to the students later in life because Nigeria was surrounded by French-speaking countries.
However, Rear Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, solicited the provision of more infrastructure in naval facilities located in Lagos.
“The demand for accommodation and other welfare services in Lagos is higher than the demand in other areas because Lagos is the cradle of the navy and home to more naval units. This puts a high strain on available facilities for the welfare of our personnel in Lagos. The problem is compounded by the high rate of sinking and decaying buildings, which make their maintenance uneconomical. The situation is so bad that many of the buildings have become inhabitable and, thus, abandoned,’’ he said.
At the inauguration of 1st and 2nd Avenues and blocks of flats for officers and senior ratings, Commodore Emmanuel Yakubu, Commander of NNS Wey, Ojo, expressed delight at the early completion of the projects.
He recalled that the contract was awarded on March 22, 2012, adding, however, that Ezeoba, on assumption of office, saw to its completion in record time.
“Majority of the houses in Navy Town are old and dilapidated. The worst hit areas are the quarters of the senior ratings, Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders. This situation led to the abandonment or forfeiture of official accommodation by residents; hence creating colossal housing problems. From statistics, more than 80 percent of our personnel prefer to have permanent accommodation in Lagos. It is expected that these new houses will be able to accommodate 48 personnel and their families,’’ Yakubu added.
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