The Naval Council has approved the establishment of a Naval War College in Akwa Ibom, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has said.
Dan-Ali, a retired brigadier general, made the disclosure on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the 11th Nigerian Navy Games, tagged, “Uyo 2017”, holding at Godswill Akpabio International stadium, Uyo.
The minister, who was a special guest of honour at the event, said the approval was given based on a request by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom.
He said that the games would enhance the physical and mental development of the Nigerian armed forces.
“There is no contention that our officers and ratings must maintain physical fitness for operational efficiency.
“Thus service members who are in peak physical condition can contribute more to their teams than members who are in poor physical condition,” the minister said.
He urged the contingents to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship to justify their participation, investment, coaching and mentoring.
Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ette Ibas, said the naval games had been a profitable investment for the force over the years.
Ibas, a vice admiral, said the naval games were part of the physical fitness regime instituted in the Navy to impact directly on professionalism in the case of small arms firing.
“The objective of the games is hinged on improving the mental and physical wellbeing of personnel for greater operational effectiveness.
“It is indeed the rationale behind the hosting of this year‘s edition of Nigerian Navy games in the face of resource constraint,” Ibas said.
He said the games would produce future athletes to represent the Nigerian Navy in Armed Forces Games.
He urged the contingents to ensure that they competed unaided by any stimulant and to engage in fair-play and healthy rivalry in their quest for laurels.
Ibas commended the Akwa Ibom Government for its support toward the hosting the games.
In his remark, Governor Emmanuel commended the Armed Forces for their efforts in internal security, which had helped in the achievement of peace and tranquility in the country.
The governor acknowledged the armed forces for the manner they handled the Boko Haram crisis in the northeast.
The games will feature 17 sports in seven centres in Uyo.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and the Chief of Air Staff, Abubakar Sadiq, also attended the opening ceremony.