As part of efforts to assess the combat readiness of the Nigerian Navy towards tackling maritime insecurity, especially crude oil theft and piracy within the Central Naval Command (CNC) area of operations, the Military outfit has flagged-off exercise COLD WATERS ( AMI JIJI) 2021).
According to the Flag Officer Commanding the Central Naval Command, Rear Adm. Saidu Garba, who flagged off the exercise on Tuesday, the overall objective is to work towards fulfilling the CNC’s mandate of securing the nation’s maritime space.
The exercise scenario was predicated on the most prevalent maritime threats occurring within the CNC area of operations and so it was expected to ensure that the navy sustained its presence at sea, within the creeks and on land.
He said part of the exercise would enable naval personnel conduct mobile patrols operation to check the activities of criminals involved in piracy/kidnapping, sea robbery and illegal bunkering.
He said: “We intend to leverage on sustained coverage of NN 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 200nm to launch attacks on vessels transiting through the CNC Maritime AOR.
“The incessant attacks would continue to affect the nation’s economic fortunes if allowed to persist. EX AMI JIJI will therefore show our resolve to address these unfortunate occurrences in our AOR as part of the NN efforts to tackle piracy and other economic threats in our maritime area.
“It is important to also state that the CNS has approved NN participation in the third edition of NIMASA/ INTERPOL sea operation code named “OPERATION 30 DAYS AT SEA 2021.
“The NN as one of the lead agencies would assist to drive the exercise aimed at enhancing response of global law enforcement network to marine pollution and violation, in breach of the international convention for the prevention of pollutions from ships and National Legislation.
“Additionally , it is targeted in improving on NIN’s anti pollution role and support the operation of National Operational Plan to be implemented in the frame work of operations 30 days at sea,” he said.
Also speaking, the Special Guest of Honour and Flag Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Rear Adm. Sama’ila Lassa, reiterated that the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea as well as crude oil theft have remained top priority of the nigerian navy.
“The operations command have therefore continued to leverage on existing technologies legal mechanism including the extant international legal regimes, towards protection of critical national assets and arresting persons and organisations that perpetrate criminality in Nigeria ‘s maritime space.
“EXERCISE AMI JIJI 2021 is therefore inline with the strategic directives and mission statements of the Chief of the Naval Staff which is to optimise the deployment of the nigeria navy in the performance of her constitutional roles, and the undertaking of assigned tasks while promptly responding with commensurate actions to other emerging national security challenges.