Minister urges navy to remain committed in fight against oil theft

The Minister of Defence, Retired Lt.-Gen. Aliyu Gusau , on Thursday called on the Nigerian Navy to remain committed in the fight against oil theft.

Gusau made the call while inaugurating the Naval Headquarters Office Extension Building in Abuja.

“I wish to note with delight the contributions of the Nigerian Navy in our fight against security challenges and its achievements in the fight against oil theft and other maritime crimes.

“I, therefore, urge officers and ratings of the Navy not to rest on their oars but to remain patriotic, disciplined and committed to their professional calling.

“Let me assure you of government’s commitment to the ongoing efforts at upgrading equipment holding of the navy and other services, including their support facilities and welfare,’’ the minister said.

Gusau while commending the leadership of the Nigerian Navy on the initiative, said that the building was a major achievement to the working environment for personnel serving at the Naval headquarters.

The minister noted that a good working environment did not only give comfort to personnel, but engendered high morale, enhanced productivity and efficiency.

“I, therefore, commend the foresight of the navy for embarking on this project in spite of annual budgetary constraints.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman Jibrin, said that the navy embarked on the project on May 5, 2012 in order to address acute shortage of office accommodation.

Jibrin said that the headquarters’ office extension had offices capable of accommodating two branch chiefs and eight other offices for directors and staff officers.

He said the building which was executed through direct labour, also had a restaurant, VIP waiting room and a conference room with state of the art multi-media facilities.

Jibrin said that although the building was constructed through direct labour, a number of contractors were engaged to carry out works, such as cladding, supply of furniture and fittings, among others.

The service chiefs, members of the National Assembly and top military officers attended the ceremony