By Christian Njoku
Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), says welfare of personnel of the Nigerian Navy remains critical and his administration will take it seriously.
Gambo said this on Saturday at a familiarisation visit and project inspection in Calabar.
”We must understand that the matter of welfare remains one of the most critical in military operations and my administration will take it seriously,” he added.
According to him, the divisional system remained the fulcrum in which the Nigerian Navy welfare system revolves; officers must therefore do more to practice the tenets of divisional system for the benefit of the personnel.
“I understand the huge challenge of transportation especially in the area of liberty buses and ferries.
“There is a large pool of buses and ambulance that has been procured and awaiting distribution before I assumed command of the Nigerian Navy.
“It is hoped that the transportation challenge shall be a thing of the past as more trucks and buses are expected soon as part of the Federal Government’s intervention,” Gambo said.
He observed that housing for the personnel had also been a challenge.
He said that in spite of the efforts of the previous administration to provide befitting accommodations for personnel, over 50 per cent of the personnel were still without appropriate housing especially in Calabar.
He noted the huge financial implication of building and the massive budgetary allocation required to tackle the problem.
“There is need to seriously consider the new policy on accommodation as a panacea for a source of funding for accommodation in the Nigerian Navy,” he said.
Gambo also used the opportunity to remind the officers of their responsibilities and urged them to maintain discipline and integrity.
He warned that he would not hesitate to relieve anyone of his appointment without notice if found wanting.
He disclosed that the Nigerian Navy would establish policies and measures to sanction personnel who collude with economic saboteurs, drug traffickers, bandits or armed robbers.
The CNS also said that personnel that exhibited high integrity and attributes that portrayed the service in good light would be rewarded handsomely.
”I have observed a seemingly lackadaisical attitude among officers and ratings in the engineering branch of the Nigerian Navy in the area of maintenance and repairs of the Nigerian navy vehicles.
“A new boost of energy is required from the Nigerian Navy engineering branch and I will ensure that our engineering personnel are given requisite training to enable them undertake maintenance of all naval platforms including the new ones expected,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among the navy facilities visited by CNS in the state was the Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar.
He said that the hospital would continue to undergo transformation to make it a world class medical centre. (NAN)