By Oladapo Udom
The Federal Government says it is taking measures aimed at bridging the infrastructure gaps in the Nation’s military formations.
Minister of State for Health Olorunnimbe Mamora, said this on Saturday at the inauguration and handing over of Jetty and Shoreline protection facilities at Underwater Warfare School, Ojo, Lagos State.
The minister said that such intervention projects was necessary in order to respond to emerging trend and sophistication in modern warfare in addressing security challenges.
“This project will also help enhance the professional competencies of the officers and men of the service and by extension, stimulate their aggressive drive of securing the country against criminal acts.
“Also, security challenges confronting the nation like maritime crime, piracy, banditry, oil bunkering, kidnapping and insurgency will be aggressively dealt with,” he said.
Mamora said that the construction of Jetty and Shoreline protection works would also help assuage the fear of menace of erosion and other ecological challenges in the area.
“This is proof that the federal government is keeping faith with the present administration’s promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to it’s geographical location or political consideration.
“I therefore, implore the Lagos State Government and Underwater Warfare School to cherish this laudable project and protect it from any abuse,” the minister said.
Mamora said that the intervention project was executed through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for the benefit of the Nigerian Navy.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, said that the efficient and effective projection of sea power by maritime forces was dependent on the physical configuration of the harbours and jetties.
“This constitutes a critical interphase connecting the sea with land. Therefore, the shoreline protection and the restoration of the jetty will no doubt enhance Nigeria Navy maritime security operation.
“The timely conclusion of this project has helped to steer off the fears associated with shoreline erosion including the attendant risk of flooding to the entire landscape.
“This is even more worrisome considering that the Navy Town is a strategic naval establishment housing the largest Nigerian Navy barracks as well as other major Nigeria Navy establishment,” he said.
Gambo said that the Nigeria Navy would take ownership of the project and assured the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to ensure the sustainability and maintenance of the project.
“Even as the project is been commissioned some of our vessels have been earmarked to berth at this facility. The only hindrance is the non completion of berthing activities from the approaches of Badagry creek,” he said.
The CNS therefore said that additional berthing operation would be required to facilitate a safe and unhindered use of the jetty.
“Additionally, I will urge further intervention in the area of the shoreline protection from the current 80metres to at least another 400 metres to cover up to the Joint Maritime Security Training centre and the Special Boat Service camp which is currently nearing completion.
“This way, the Federal Government of Nigeria will have had returns of the resources committed to the project and greatly invigorate Nigerian Navy’s response and capacity against the criminal element at sea,” he said.
Gambo appreciated the President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the Nigerian Navy as a suitable beneficiary of the project.
He, however, solicited for more EFO interventions on other identified sites at the Nigerian Navy bases and establishments namely: Escravos and F, Ibaka and Calabar jetty.
“I assure that the Nigeria Navy by such intervention will be more emboldened in the performance of her statutory role of maritime defense and Security of the nation’s maritime domain,” Gambo said. (NAN)