Sen. George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, says the efforts of the Nigerian Navy have led to increased daily crude oil production to about 1.5 million barrels per day as of November.
Akume said this at the Nigerian Navy’s Ceremonial Sunset and Awards Night 2023 on Friday in Abuja.
He commended the efforts of the navy for playing its statutory duty of securing the vast strategic resources in the nation’s maritime domain.
According to him, the Nigerian Navy has employed cutting edge technology to maritime surveillance and sustained presence in the maritime environment, thereby ensuring security of Nigerian waters as well as the entire Gulf of Guinea.
“Noteworthy is that the efforts of the Nigerian Navy have further led to delisting of Nigeria from the International Maritime Bureau piracy list.
“This has made the Nigerian Navy a critical contributor to the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy,” he said.
Akume also commended the navy in ensuring significant reduction in sea rubbery, crude oil theft and other illicit activities within the nation’s maritime domain.
According to him, it is also gratifying to acknowledge the zeal and patriotic commitment of the Chief of Naval Staff and his personnel in internal security duties in the hinterland and adjoining waterways across the nation.
“The doggedness of officers and men of the Nigerian Navy, in synergy with sister services and agencies, have significantly contributed to the peace and tranquility currently experienced in most riverine and coastal communities.
“We are indeed proud to acknowledge your achievements in 2023 and we look forward to a greater 2024.
The SGF said the Federal Government considered it a worthwhile investment to provide the necessary support for the navy in terms of increased funding.
He said this would guarantee economic prosperity and national development as well as reposition Nigeria’s economy and overall wealth of Nigerians.
He urged the navy to sustain the ongoing efforts in fleet recapitalisation, capacity building and improvement in personnel welfare towards consolidating the gains made so far in securing the nstion’s waterways and protecting its maritime resources.
He gave the assurance that the Federal Government was committed to addressing operational challenges regarding platforms, surveillance equipment and logistics, to enhance navy’s professional performance.
This determination, according to him, is underpinned by the government’s recognition that effective maritime security could translate into national development.
He added that the executive would collaborate with the legislature to make the navy, and indeed all security forces, become more effective through their constitutional mandates.
“In line with the renewed agenda, my charge to the navy, therefore, is that you should redouble efforts so that together you should build a navy that would be the pride of all of us and the deserving personnel who are going to receive various awards tonight.
“While I wholeheartedly congratulate you, please see this recognition as a call for continued unalloyed loyalty to the nation and more dedication to the Nigerian navy,” he said.
Speaking on the event, the Chief of Policy and Plans (Navy), Rear Adm. Joseph Akpan, said the sunset ceremony was a sun honored novel tradition dating back to the early days of sailing of ships.
According to Akpan, as the sun dipped below the horizon, marking the end of the day’s work, sailors will gather on deck to lower the colours.
He said that the act of lowering the flag was a signal to other ships and a reminder to all that the day was on and it was sign for rest and reflection.
“Over time, the ceremony evolved into a more formal event, incorporating elements of music, trail and readings.
“It became a powerful symbol of unity and espirit de corps, reminding sailors of their shared mission and the sacrifices made by those who came before them,” he said.