The Nigerian Navy Chief of Naval Staff Sea Inspection, “Nchekwa Oshimili”, was launched at Onne, Rivers State this year, 2023. At the launch, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, Minister of State for Defence, praised the Nigerian Navy for their efforts in safeguarding the nation and protecting the maritime environment, which has led to a decrease in water-based crimes, increased economic prosperity, and an increase in crude oil production. The exercise has the aim of eliminating all forms of criminal activities in the maritime domain.
He claimed that the maritime space safety project called ‘Nchekwa Oshimili,’ translating to guarding the sea, was highlighted as an essential initiative among various actions taken by the Nigerian Navy to safeguard the maritime domain and promote economic growth and national prosperity in Nigeria. The President’s support has been instrumental in facilitating various Nigerian Navy operations, such as this exercise. Over the past three months, under the guidance of the Chief of Naval Staff, the Nigerian Navy has experienced a range of accomplishments during its operational endeavours.
This exercise will evaluate the naval fleet’s operational prowess.
Also, the Navy is undertaking various measures to guarantee a maritime environment that facilitates economic success and national progress. These measures include patrols, surveillance, and other formidable endeavours aimed at ensuring safety and security. He proceeded by applauding these endeavours, stating that there has been a significant decline in these offenses, ultimately resulting in a boost in economic engagements. In recent times, there has been a notable surge in oil production, indicating the significant impact of the Nigerian Navy’s operations. The upcoming Exercise, Nchekwa Oshimili, will serve as an additional reinforcement to the ongoing efforts aimed at strengthening water security.
Matawalle further assured the Navy of his unwavering commitment to providing them with utmost assistance, enabling them to fulfil their responsibilities with great efficacy. Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the esteemed Chief of Naval Staff, has expressed in his introductory speech the significance of the four-day inspection as an annual affair. This exercise serves the crucial purpose of evaluating the naval fleet’s operational prowess. Ogalla expressed the importance of evaluating the functionality and preparedness of the naval fleet in order to effectively confront maritime security concerns as mandated by the Nigerian constitution.
There has been an increase in legitimate shipping activities.
Additionally, the Chief of Naval Staff affirmed that the complete readiness of the Nigerian Navy is imperative to ensuring optimal assistance for the current maritime security endeavours led by the Federal Government, both within the country and across the region. Therefore, the aim of this activity is to boost collaboration and the exchange of information, thereby strengthening the overall competencies of individuals involved in maritime affairs to combat these offenses. The nation’s maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea, a crucial trade and communication route, were chosen as sites for examination, according to the Naval chief.
Ogalla emphasized that the Navy remained committed to upholding the momentum that led to the extraction of crude oil. Furthermore, he voiced a positive outlook, asserting that the country would imminently achieve its daily production goal and even exceed it. Nigeria removal from the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) list of piracy-prone nations is an important point to highlight. He further stated that there has been an increase in legitimate shipping activities as reported by various regional awareness centers, which can be attributed to the decrease in the crime rate in Nigerian waters.
4,000 naval staff will be actively engaged in the forthcoming operation.
Rear Adm. Olusola Oluwagbire, in charge of the Eastern Naval Command, disclosed that a notable 4,000 naval staff will be actively engaged in the forthcoming operation. According to the FOC, the navy has plans to incorporate four maritime domain awareness facilities into its operations. These facilities consist of four operational bases, two support units, and four platforms owned by individuals or organisations involved in the sector. Prof. Ngozi Odu, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, graced the occasion alongside notable figures including commanders from multiple Navy, Army, and Air Force divisions.
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