Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Navy has called on the Federal Government to consider a special intervention fund for the Nigerian Navy to enable efficient tackling of the increasing piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and rising militancy in the Niger Delta region.
This is as the committee commenced a nationwide inspection of naval facilities, as part of oversight efforts to proffer modalities to tackle the growing need for an effective maritime security in Nigeria. The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abdulssamad Dasuki, speaking at the Nigerian Navy Headquarters in Abuja recently, said the Navy needs the special intervention, similar to that being done for the North-east region of the country.
“The provision of such funding can support the immediate purchase of equipment and any logistics requirements which may be required for any naval operation…Federal Government to consider the presentation of a Maritime Security Supplementary Appropriation Bill for the immediate equipment purchase,” he said.
“We will assiduously put effort in collaboration with other committee members to create awareness on the need for increased funding for the Navy, and even consider channelling to Navy budget, all funds previously paid to private maritime security firms by NIMASA and NNPC for maritime security and other pipeline security arrangement,” Dasuki added.
The Chairman added that as the insurgency in the North East is being contained, proactive steps need to be taken for new treats and resurgence of other security challenges.
He noted that there are several emerging security challenges confronting Nigeria in the sector, in the Gulf of Guinea, and in recent dynamics affecting critical national infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
The nationwide inspection is to be conducted at naval establishments and installations, to take note of present challenges and explore avenues to support efforts of naval internal security operations.