The Nigerian Navy said it had established more commands for effective patrolling of the nation’s waters.
Rear Adm. Ameen Ikioda, Chief of Policy and Plans, Navy Headquarters, announced this in Abuja on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on forthcoming Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC 2014).
He said the need to tackle crude oil theft, criminalities and illegal activities in the nation’s maritime space led to the establishment of regimes to ensure constant patrols of the waters.
According to him, the patrols, which overlap, are done from the Western, Central and Eastern Commands
“The western command operating from Lagos patrols up to Benin Rivers. The central command takes it from there, patrols up to River Num and the Eastern Naval command commences from Calabar to the River Num.
“What we have tried to do is to cover most of those areas especially with the creation of central naval command.’’
He explained that the establishment of the commands became necessary due the discovery that the illegalities prevalent in the waters were mostly in that area
“And since the establishment of the commands, the navy had been able to tackle those crimes to a very minimal level’’, Ikioda said.
He explained that the navy fleets were doing a lot in riding waters of criminals, adding that many of their ships were back to sea and some undergoing repairs in navy boatyards in Port-Harcourt and Lagos
Ikioda added that with the availability of funds, the navy would be able to get the ships back to sea to help fight security challenges in the waters.
He said Chief of Naval Staff Conference would hold from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14 at the Reverton Hotel in Lokoja, Kogi.
According to him, the five days conference which will be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan has “Transforming for Enhanced Nigerian Navy Operational Efficiency’’ as theme.
“CONSAC is a forum for the navy to carry out periodic appraisal of its performance with a view to re-calibrating its processes and procedures towards improving its overall capability.
“CONSAC is basically a forum for intellectual discourse which brings proven intellectuals and professionals both from within and outside the military together to deliberate on identified challenges of the navy in order to chart a way forward for the service.