Navy Moves to Reposition Self for Operational Efficiency …As Indian Naval Ship visits 

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

In the light of emerging security threats in the nation’s maritime space, the Nigerian Navy (NN), yesterday said the service is set to reposition self  for operational efficiency.

This repositioning they said, will encompass the  development of lasting policies and strategies that would position the service for enhanced operational efficiency and attitudinal change.

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok
Ette-Ibas, who made this disclosure at the seminar held in Lagos to celebrate the 61st NN anniversary, singled out
human resource as constituting the most important NN asset for performing its constitutional and emerging roles.

Ibas who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, said it was against this backdrop that the theme ‘repositioning Nigerian Navy for operational efficiency through human capacity development and attitudinal change’ was conceptualised.

He said, “One of the emerging concepts in this rapidly changing world is the recognition of the human factor as the major and pre-eminent factor in achieving results for organisation, military forces and countries.

“It is noteworthy that the NN has evolved in the last 61 years from a constabulary navy with 11 assorted ships and crafts with about 200 personnel to a fully fledged navy capable of executing the dimensions of warfare as week as provision of auxiliary services.

“Human resource therefore constitutes the most important NN asset for performing its constitutional and emerging roles, hence optimal human resource management and continuous development has been pivotal to the success achieved so far in the implementation of our roles.

“The ever changing dynamics of maritime operations and security have continued to impose enormous challenges on the Nigerian Navy. It is safe to assume that the current economic situation in the country necessitates prudence in managing material and human resources.

“This is to achieve NN responsibilities in support of the government’s effort in providing stable and economic prosperity.

“These current trends lend credence to the need to evolve ways of ensuring that the service is for stability and prosperity of Nigeria.

“Part of my key priorities since assumption of office is to promote NN manpower development to achieve optimal professional capacity of personnel.

“To this end, I am glad to note that we have reviewed the NN training policy on operational, type and on the job training. We have also commenced accreditation and affiliations of our professional schools to internationally recognised bodies.

“Thus, this seminar is aimed at enhancing NN human resources management and administration in line with my Strategic Directives one and two.

“It is geared towards further enlightening and educating personnel on issues bordering on attitudinal change, administration and work ethics.”

Earlier on, the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Ifeola Mohammed, in his welcome address said the navy under Ibas has placed special premium in enhancing capacity development.

“Human resources forms a vital component of any organisation, thus, seminars such as this, underscores the importance of developing the capacity of the human resource.

“The NN is currently engaged in several security, social and human development activities, towards ensuring stability, security and economic prosperity of Nigeria, as well as support for better living condition of the larger society, within which the NN is a subset.

“This nation building effort, is being pursued rigorously, with unwavering vigour, under the visionary and leadership provided by the CNS.”

Meanwhile, to foster the existing India-Nigeria relationships and boost capacity of military personnel, a visiting Indian Navy Ship (INS) TARKASH, yesterday made a port call to Nigerian.

During their visit, the crew of INS TARKASH will undertake tactical and operational trainings with some Nigerian Navy (NN) personnel.
FOCs WNC and NAVTRAC, Rear Admirals Bobai and Mohammed, who received the vessel’s Commanding Officer, Captain Rituraj Sahu and Indian High Commission’s Defence Adviser, Captain Marhawa Gautama, said two NN officers would board the Indian warship to Angola for a joint training for enhanced security in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG).
The admirals said the ship’s visit was in commemoration of the NN week and to strengthen existing friendship between both nations.
Bobai said: “As you are aware, the NN is celebrating it’s 61st anniversary which would end with ceremonial sunset on Thursdayevening. Their visit is one of the flag showing roles of navies worldwide. Friendly navies exchange visits like this.
“The Indian Navy has been instrumental in the training of Nigerian military personnel. It is hoped that this visit would further cement existing relationship between Nigeria and India.
“In the course of the visit, the INS would conduct medical rhapsody and some tactical and operational trainings.
“To have them here shows they are friends. We would exchange ideas, discuss on topical issues and security situations globally particularly in the GOG.
In response, Captain Gautama said: “The bilateral relationship which has been existing between both navies, goes beyond training. There are ongoing discussions on provision of equipment to the Nigerian Navy. In the nearest future, you might see a ship built by India in Lagos.”