The Nigerian Navy has unveiled Operation Cold Waters (AMI JIJI 2021) to tackle maritime insecurity, especially crude oil theft and piracy in its Central Naval Command (CNC) area of operations.
Field Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, who inaugurated the exercise recently, said the objective was to work towards fulfilling the CNC mandate of securing the nation’s maritime space and its readiness to combat criminal activities on the nation’s waters.
He said the exercise was predicated on the most prevalent maritime threats occurring within the CNC area of operations and was expected to ensure that the Navy sustained its presence at sea in the creeks and on land.
He said the exercise would enable naval personnel to conduct mobile patrol operations to check the activities of criminals involved in piracy, kidnapping, and illegal bunkering.
“We intend to leverage on sustained coverage of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) platforms domiciled within the CNC AOR to continue to extend our reach. It has recently been observed that pirates go over 200mm to launch attacks on vessels transiting through the CNC Maritime AOR.
“Such incessant attacks would continue to affect the nation’s economic fortunes if allowed to persist. Therefore, Exercise Ami Jiji will show our resolve to address these occurrences in our AOR as part of Nigerian Navy’s efforts to tackle piracy and other economic threats in our maritime area.
“It is important to also state that the CNS has approved participation in the third edition of NIMASA and Interpol sea operation codenamed Operation 30 Days At Sea 2021,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Special Guest of Honour and FOC Logistics Command, Rear Admiral Sama’ila Lassa, restated that the fight against piracy and crude oil theft has remained the Nigerian Navy’s top priority, saying this was aimed at enhancing the socio-economic development and national prosperity.
“The operations command has, therefore, continued to leverage on existing technologies, legal mechanism, and international legal regimes to protect critical national assets and arrest persons and organisations that perpetrate criminality in the maritime space.
“Exercise Ami Jiji 2021, is, therefore, in line with the strategic directives and mission statements of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), which is to optimise the deployment of the Nigeria Navy in the performance of its constitutional roles and assigned tasks, while promptly responding with commensurate action to other emerging national security challenges,” he added.