The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, has said that maritime threats are a challenge to the navy’s combat capability.
Speaking on Thursday during the Chief of Naval Staff Conference held at the Kano Government House, Gambo expressed worry that criminal activities in Nigeria’s maritime environment are directly targeted at the economic lifeline of the country.
He said maritime crimes such as sea robbery, piracy, crude oil theft, poaching, human and illicit trafficking of weapons and drugs constitute serious challenges to the development of Nigeria.
“Characteristically, the maritime threats have become of major concern and are evolving and challenging the combat capability of the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders.
“The present situation calls for constant reappraisals, greater collaboration as well as inter-agency cooperation within stakeholders.
“In recent times, some federal and local initiatives were initiated towards ensuring greater productivity of security efforts. These initiatives testify to the political commitment to security and developmental imperatives in our maritime domain.
“In the recent past, a huge capability gap has emerged amongst stakeholders in the efficient discharge of their constitutional mandates. I therefore believe that this conference would provide a veritable platform to proffer workable solutions in fine-tuning Nigerian Navy efforts at securing our maritime environment,” he said.
The naval chief added that one of the major implications of the emerging security situation is the increasing demand for effective collaboration in maritime policing.