Immediate past Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has upheld the Nigerian Navy as a strong force, better positioned now to discharge its constitutional roles for Nigeria’s national security and economic prosperity.
Admiral Gambo spoke during a pull out ceremony organised in his honour by the authority of the Nigerian Navy, insisting that the force made significant improvement in operations, logistics, manpower development and personnel welfare, during his reign as Chief of Naval Staff.
Gambo said he was leaving a resilient navy that is capable of its best operations of securing the nation’s maritime domain and other roles expected of it, expressing confidence of greater operational successes as the force leverages on the use of technology to tackle piracy and other maritime-related offences.
His words: “ The Nigerian navy has leveraged highly on technology for its operations, which has made it more result-oriented and cost-effective, in the sense that we don’t need to deploy most of our capital ships out there at sea to keep pursuing culprits of maritime offenders.
“From the comfort of all the operational commands, the Nigerian navy can vector any maritime-offending ship or platform or human being; being they pirates, sea robbers and all that, to be able to undertake arrest and prosecute them through the instrumentality of the SPOMO Act (Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences) of 2019, which was promulgated as expressed by the imprisonment of 12 pirates in July 2021.
“So, I will say the Navy is continuously improving in its operations and strategies to combat maritime crime, and to support our neighbours and the entire Gulf of Guinea. And of course, our international partners who come here all the time.
“Here, we are looking at over 1500 vessels that transit or berth in our ports every day. So, you can imagine the volume of shipping traffic that comes to Nigeria. I will say that I am a fulfilled 21st indigenous Chief of the Naval Staff, and I am leaving the navy in the capable hands of Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, who will also come and add value and improve, with the support of men and officers of the Nigerian navy, to take the navy to higher heights for the economic stability and prosperity of our country Nigeria.”
He commended the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the force for their loyalty and dedication, adding that it was their loyalty and dedication that assisted him to achieve so much.
While explaining his ability to achieve successes within a short period, the former Navy Chief explained that, “upon my appointment as the CNS about two and a half years ago, I had a vision which is ‘to leverage all factors of national location, technology, training, teamwork and synergy to re-energise the Nigerian Navy and enhance its as a well-motivated and ready naval force in the discharge of its constitutional mandate and other assigned tasks in fulfillment of national security objectives.”
He noted that also derived from this vision was his mission, which was “to optimise deployment of the Nigerian Navy in performance of its constitutional roles and undertaking of assigned tasks while promptly responding with commensurate actions to other emerging national security challenges.”
Sunday Sun learnt that under his watch, the Nigerian Navy arrested numerous vessels attempting to load crude oil and liquefied natural gas without authorisation within Nigeria’s maritime environment which is in violation of other maritime laws.
It was also learnt that the Nigerian Navy arrested MV CHAYANEE NAREE and MV KARTERIA in October for smuggling about 32.9kg and 13.6k.g of substance suspected to be Cocaine.
Under Vice Admiral Gambo›s leadership, the Nigerian Navy intensified efforts at combating maritime threats such as piracy, oil theft, and illegal fishing within Nigeria’s territorial waters.
Recognizing the importance of regional cooperation, he played a pivotal role in strengthening partnerships with neighbouring countries and international maritime organisations to foster information sharing, intelligence gathering, and joint operations.
It was further learnt that Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo’s tenure as the Chief of Naval Staff left a mark on the Nigerian Navy.
His leadership and strategic acumen also paved the way for further advancements and operational effectiveness within the naval force. Under his guidance, the Nigerian Navy strengthened its maritime domain awareness, enhanced patrol capabilities, and improved interagency coordination.