SGF Lauds Navy For Securing Vast Strategic Resources in Nation’s Maritime Domain As 58 Personnel Receive CNS Awards

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator (Dr) George Akume, CON has lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Navy for fulfilling its statutory responsibility of securing the vast strategic resources in the nation’s maritime domain which led to an increase of daily crude oil production to about 1.5 million barrels per day as of November as about 58 officers and ratings received Chief of Naval Staff Commendation Awards for distinguishing themselves in the areas of research and innovation, character and gallantry in 2023.

Senator Akume gave the commendation at the Nigerian Navy’s Ceremonial Sunset and Awards Night 2023 on Friday in Abuja. 

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Nigerian Navy Ceremonial Sunset is an age-long tradition of navies worldwide to mark the end of activities over some time and this year’s Ceremony is intended to mark the end of the Nigerian Navy activities for the Year 2023 as well as honour personnel who have distinguished themselves in various capacities during the year. 

Speaking at the epoch event, Senator Akume said the Nigerian Navy has employed cutting-edge technology for maritime surveillance and sustained presence in the maritime environment, thereby ensuring the security of Nigerian waters as well as the entire Gulf of Guinea.

He noted that the efforts of the Nigerian Navy have further led to the delisting of Nigeria from the International Maritime Bureau piracy list. 

 “This has made the Nigerian Navy a critical contributor to the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy,” he said. Akume also commended the navy for ensuring a significant reduction in sea rubber, crude oil theft, and other illicit activities within the nation’s maritime domain.

According to him, it is also gratifying to acknowledge the zeal and patriotic commitment of the Chief of Naval Staff and his personnel to internal security duties in the hinterland and adjoining waterways across the nation. 

“The doggedness of officers and men of the Nigerian Navy, in synergy with sister services and agencies, have significantly contributed to the peace and tranquillity currently experienced in most riverine and coastal communities.

In his remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, said this past year has been a period of significant progress and accomplishment for the Nigerian Navy. 

"When I assumed the mantle as the Chief of the Naval Staff, I laid out clear vision and mission statements as well as my command philosophy. Central to these was the need to maintain a navy that is professional, capable, and responsive to the demands of our maritime environment. 

"One of our primary objectives has been to ensure that our fleet is equipped and prepared to meet the evolving maritime security landscape. This year, we have made significant progress in fleet renewal efforts, with the acquisition of new vessels and the ongoing modernization of existing platforms. 

He said the Navy has also continued to invest in maritime domain awareness through technological advancements and improved intelligence gathering and has gained a deeper understanding of the activities within waters. 

He said the Navy has continued to contribute manpower and resources to ongoing land-based operations in the North East, North West, North Central and other security hotspots in the country. This has significantly contributed to the improved security situation in the country.

"Our commitment to operational excellence has been evident in the successful execution of major exercises throughout the year. Some of00 these exercises include GRAND NEMO AFRICA, OBANGAME EXPRESS 2023, CROCODILE LIFT and SAFE DOMAIN, which saw us collaborate with international and regional partners to combat piracy and other forms of maritime crimes thereby enhancing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea," he said

The Naval Chief also conferred Command and Sea Badge on 58 officers who successfully held sea commands during the year. The categories of the awards include research and innovation, SDB III Design and Construction, exemplary character and gallantry.

Other award categories include the Office of the National Security Adviser Tactical Disruption Team in the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, team award (Operation Whirl Punch), outstanding command and leadership, outstanding ships/establishments, and sports.

The Nigerian Navy volleyball female team, Spikers, was recognised for outstanding performance in the national league.

He urged all officers and ratings to remain dedicated to the core values of the Nigerian Navy: Professionalism, Integrity, and Teamwork. 

"Let these values guide your every action and decision. Together, we will ensure that the Navy remains a formidable force for good, safeguarding our maritime domain and protecting the interests of our great nation."

The highlight of the Nigerian Navy’s Ceremonial Sunset and Awards Night 2023 is a series of Commands,  the Special Navy Band Command by the Chief of Naval Staff, the lower of the national flag, an award presentation to 58 Naval officers, a Cultural Display, and special dinner treat. 

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