BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, FRCN PORT HARCOURT
Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi says there has been reduction in sea piracy within Nigerian territorial waters in recent times.
The Minister who made the revelation during the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning Ceremony for cadets of Special Duty Pre-commission Training SDPCT, twenty-twenty two, at Nigerian Naval College Onne Rivers State, charged Naval officers to sustain the tempo.
The one hundred and fifty six cadets including nineteen females started the training in September last year for a period of six months.
The cadets were subjected to rigorous training in leadership, military cum Naval orientation, administration, seamanship, marine engineering, blueship economy, marksmanship, shooting range among others.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi who expressed happiness over the reduction in piracy within Nigerian territorial integrity, attributed the feat to sustained presence of Nigerian Navy at sea.
“Our nation has been challenged by asymmetric and emerging security threats necessitating intensive operational and security engagements of the Armed Forces across different theatres of operation.
However, the good news is that there have been tremendous successes recorded in the last few years.”
“In this regard, I am glad to observe that in addition to the substantial support to sister Services in some of these theatres, the Nigerian Navy has continued to sustain maritime security operations within the nation’s maritime domain.”
The minister noted that the reduction in piracy led to delisting Nigeria from Piracy prone countries by International Maritime Organization.
Retired Major General Magashi who was represented by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, revealed that Nigerian Navy has made significant progress in the fight against oil theft which has increased oil production to one point seven million barrels per day.
“Certainly, economic benefits of these feats by the Nigerian Navy are huge and commendable. These could not have been achieved without the zeal, dedication and patriotic commitments from personnel who displayed uncommon and appropriate attitude, knowledge and skills acquired through pragmatic training from naval training institutions like you have all successfully gone through at this prestigious College”.
According to him, the Federal Government has supported Nigerian Navy in the acquisition of platforms, while accommodation for officers is receiving utmost attention.
In a remark, Commandant Nigeria Naval College Onne, Commodore Pakiribo Anabraba while giving assurance of the quality of training the cadets received, stated that the school is reviewing the training curriculum in line with latest trends in military training globally.
Commodore Anabraba who expressed gratitude for the support from the Chief of the Naval Staff, acknowledged that the new auditorium inaugurated by the CNS will ease operations in the school.
According to him, Nigerian Navy is collaborating with Rivers State Government for a bigger site for the institution.
Commodore Anabraba advised the officers to obey constituted authority and prioritize national interest above personal gains.
High point of the occasion was special awards to cadets that distinguished themselves during the period of the training.