Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu-Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (CONS), has called for greater collaboration among stakeholders and inter-agency cooperation, towards ensuring maritime security in the country.
He stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC), on Thursday in Kano, with theme: “Enhancing Nigeria’s Maritime Security for Improved National Prosperity.”
Zubairu-Gambo said the Nigerian Navy was saddled with the responsibility of securing the country’s maritime environment, which possessed strategic importance to the economy.
“The current security threats in the environment are of serious concern to all of us gathered here today, as well as entire Nigerians.
“What is perhaps more disturbing is that much of the criminal activities in our maritime environment are directed at the economic life of Nigeria.
“In other words, the scourge of illegalities, 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 and the region at large,” he said.
Zubairu-Gambo added: The Nigerian Navy has just concluded a retreat, maritime stakeholders and regional maritime awareness capability conferences, with clearly defined communique and implementation guidelines.
“I therefore believed that this conference will provide a veritable platform to proffer workable solutions in fine-tuning Nigerian Navy efforts at securing our maritime environment.”
He also acknowledged the contributions of the local communities and sister agencies in ensuring safety in the nation’s maritime environment.
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje said that the conference was timely.
”Nigeria’s maritime environment holds a large percentage of Africa’s oil production.”
He said that the maritime environment was faced with lots of challenges such as piracy, sea robbery, kidnapping, illegal oil bunkering, as well as unregulated fishing among others.
Ganduje commended the Nigerian Navy for creating different platforms for intellectual discourse, aimed at enhancing the collective maritime security architecture of the country.
“The conference can yield workable strategy for sustainable socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Ganduje said that his administration was determined to support the implementation of the resolutions of the conference, as well as all initiatives aimed at ensuring maritime security in the state and Nigeria in general.
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