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March 2, 2024
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Navy urges Nigeria to harness benefits of ocean for economic development

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

 

Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, has urged Federal and State Governments to ensure sustainable development of the ocean to boost the economy of the nation.

 

The CNS made the call at the 2023 World Hydrography Day Celebration organised by the Nigerian Navy on Wednesday in Abuja.

 

Ogalla, was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations (Navy), Rear Adm. Solomon Agada.

 

The theme for the year’s celebration is ‘Hydrography: Underpinning the Digital Twin of the Ocean’.

 

He said the day was set aside to showcase the global significance of hydrography to human life and national development.

 

Agada said that it provides information required by ships and other waterborne craft to safely convey essential goods and services from one part of the world to another.

 

The CNS said that efforts were being made to seek solutions to the challenges confronting the health of the ocean and foster better understanding of the interplay between nature, human activities and the ocean.

 

According to him, through the integration of hydrographic and other relevant maritime data, current and future dynamics of the ocean can be replicated virtually to provide the requisite knowledge for all stakeholders to ensure sustainable development of the ocean.

 

“The digital twin of the ocean provides the right information to evolve measures to mitigate the effect of nature on the ocean as well as formulate sustainable policies to regulate their activities within the ocean to other ocean results.

 

“Adequate knowledge of the ocean through the digital twin of the ocean provokes positive responses which are not detrimental to the health of the ocean.”

 

Ogalla said, “in Nigeria there are knowledge gaps regarding the present and future dynamics of the maritime environment,” he said.

 

This, he said, has greatly affected the management and responses within Nigeria’s waters in terms of prevailing indiscriminate resource extraction and sea blindness.

 

“Conventional platforms cannot assess many parts of our waters due to insufficient or lack of information that will guarantee their safety.

 

“Thus creating a disconnect between policies, enforcement actions and the behavior of the seafarers,” he said.

 

The CNS however said the Nigerian navy had commenced the collection and archiving of maritime data through several hydrographic survey campaigns within the nation’s waters.

 

He said that already, the navy had completed survey and produced navigational charts of several rivers in Nigeria.

 

Ogalla added that the navy had also commenced survey of sea access route from Oguta in Imo to the Atlantic Ocean.

 

According to him, the navy is surveying Nigeria’s waters using its recently acquired onshore surveying vessel, NNS Larna.

 

“Additionally, the Nigerian navy also has in its archives, a complete hydrographic survey data of Nigeria’s onshore waters from Lagos to Calabar.

 

“The huge data sets collected during these surveys have been utilised to produce over 2,825 electronic charts, 24 member charts and sizable maritime use partial data sets for the development of the digital train of Nigeria’s maritime environment.

 

“Some of the completed and ongoing survey operations of the navy are in collaboration with some sister agencies, private sector and state governments.

 

“For instance, such collaboration between the navy and Ondo State government has led to the production of seven charts linking Ondo to Lagos, which will be unveiled shortly.

 

“Also we are expecting more collaboration soon to replicate real time and future dynamics of our maritime environment,” he added.

 

The Hydrographer, Nigerian Navy, Rear Adm. Chukwuemeka Okafor, said the 2023 World Hydrography Day offered opportunity to highlight application of hydrography in support of human endeavours.

 

Okafor said the indiscriminate dumping of harmful waste and plastics in the ocean remained a huge challenge to the health of ocean.

 

He said that sustainable ocean development, and development of digital twin of the ocean required integration of a wide range of historic and future data sets of a maritime environment.

 

According to him, hydrographic data acquired during hydrographic survey within the maritime environment always comes handy.

 

“As at date, coastal nations are collaborating with each other to build a digital twin of the ocean that serves their immediate and future needs.

 

“In Nigeria, there are several historic redundant maritime data sets domiciled in various ministries, departments and agencies of government which can be integrated with current data to create a digital twin.

 

“It is my utmost belief that by the end of the deliberations today, more collaboration would be taken by all of us to make available maritime data sets that are held in our various offices for the good of Nigeria,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

 

Edited by Joy Mbachi/Maharazu Ahmed

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