Nosakhare Alekhuogie

The Nigerian Navy is considering setting up a new maritime university in the country and a Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Lake Chad.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas, who confirmed this, explained that the security challenges in the country have forced the navy to adopt new strategies, which include the establishment of an FOB and the enhancement of surveillance capacities amongst others.

The CNS stated during a training seminar organised by the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) recently that the proposed maritime university would cater for the training of naval personnel and other maritime stakeholders within and outside the country.

He said: “ We have commenced the process of placing a more robust surveillance system, FALCON EYE, which when completed, will provide surveillance on the entire 200 nautical miles of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). For over five years we have relied majorly on the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC) that gives us an eye over the horizon.

“This will therefore boost our ability to contain the notorious maritime challenges that we presently have out there.

The navy in particular has been obliged in the context of the prevailing national emergency to transit a complicated range of a full spectrum of warfare.”

Ette-ibas added: “On account of the foregoing, the navy has in the last couple of years found herself increasingly assuming operational responsibilities in the continental theatre. Even more profoundly is the asymmetric characteristics of the engagement.

All of these have impacted a compelling need to admit new weapons and technologies, tactics, doctrinal shift and logistics management.

The evolving scenario has necessitated significant changes in our operational procedures, particularly in addressing the spate of crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and attacks on shipping.”

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) NAVTRAC, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo also noted that the command conducts over 120 courses in its eleven colleges and schools, adding that the naval training was a function of operational realities, technological changes and fleet renewal.

He said: “As we have witnessed in the past two decades, the operational doctrine of the Nigerian Navy has been challenged by emerging threats in our maritime environment.

“With the growing need for new technologies and fleet recapitalization, it became apparent that we need to devote significant efforts towards reflecting on extant doctrine as well as the future direction of training in the Nigerian Navy.”