…as Defence Minister applauds NN milestones
By: Okosun Dennis
After about two decades NNS ARADU underwent a comprehensive refitting, the ship is to undergo refurbishing in Dearsan Shipyard, Instabul Turkey within 24 months, to be ready with a view to bringing her to its optimal capability.
This was disclosed by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwul Zubairu Gambo during the 2023 Presidential Fleet Review (PFR), Maritime Discourse at the Admiralty Hall, Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday.
The ship, which was commissioned in 1982 as a frigate and Nigerian flagship, has deteriorated over the years making it impossible for her to engage in robust interdictions and participating in both national and foreign operations.
NNS ARADU, has been in deplorable state as successive Naval Chiefs have made frantic efforts to carry out a comprehensive refitting for operational optimization.
While commending the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), for his role in facilitating the approval, Admiral Gambo also disclosed the upgrade of Engineering College to Naval Institute of Technology.
While emphasizing the importance of the 2023 Presidential Fleet Review, Vice Admiral Gambo noted that the prosperity of nations’ littorals are inextricably linked to the huge resources derived from the maritime environment.
Adumbrating, he averred that any impediment within the environment due to unavailability of a prepared naval fleet, would have huge unpleasant consequences on economic survival of nations.
As a result, the importance of exploring the formidable factors that can guarantee a prepared naval fleet poised to ameliorate maritime insecurity for prosperity cannot be downplayed.
The theme for the Presidential Fleet Review, “Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity”, according to the CNS was conceptualized to support strategic level initiative and to emphasize essence of a ready and responsive naval fleet as well as its contributions towards attainment of national prosperity.
He added that, “It is envisaged that this maritime discourse would provide a platform to collectively interrogate and highlight components of Naval Fleet readiness and how these components could be sequenced to deliver Nigerian Navy operational objectives for enhanced national prosperity.”
Gambo further added that under the leadership of President Mohammedu Buhari in the last eight years, the Nigerian Navy have achieved several commendable milestones ranging from “recapitalization and strengthening collaborative efforts with national and international stakeholders.”
The Special Guest of Honour (SGOH), the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), stressed the need to massively invest in the navy, to have “a virile, forward looking and responsive naval force that would be capable of safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment, where die-hard criminals are resolute on carrying out their nefarious activities with detrimental effect on the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.”
Magashi expressed satifaction with the milestones achieved by the Nigerian Navy, noting that the discourse would garner inputs and draw inspiration and experiences from some of our allies as well as retired and serving personnel who have experiences to share.
“As we make inputs and compare notes, it is important to acknowledge that little efforts ultimately contribute to the larger picture, which I expect would emerge at the end of this Maritime Discourse.”
In his vote of thanks, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Apapa, Rear Admiral Stephen Akpan thanked all the invited guests, discussants and participating countries especially the CNS, Congolese Navy and the Chief of Coast Guards, Sao Tome and Principe for their time.
Topical issues discussed included
“Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity – Doctrine /Crew Work-up in perspective; Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity – Crew preparedness in perspective as well as Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity – Fleet Maintenance in perspective.
Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) 2023 is organized in honour of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari as part of activities to mark the end of the current political dispensation.