By Omuboye Sukubo
Ubima (Rivers) – The Naval War College, Nigeria (NWCN), Ubima, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers, has graduated 15 participants of Course 1/2017 drawn from Nigerian Navy, Air Force and the Army.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS),Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, was the Special Guest of Honour during the graduation ceremony that held at the NWCN Central Lecture Hall on Friday.
Olonisakin said at the occasion that the peaceful exploitation of natural resources and the safe use of the maritime domain were continually inundated by a litany of maritime threats.
He said that the waters of Nigeria, as it was with the whole expanse of the Gulf of Guinea, for which Nigeria was an integral part of, had been acknowledged internationally as an area of high maritime security risks.
“Invariably, the nation’s fortune could be undermined in the spheres of economic, national security and national prestige by these threats.
“Expectedly, the country, like any other, cannot feel complacent to put with such unpleasant situation, ” he said.
According to Olonisakin, the nation, therefore, expected that the Nigerian Navy (NN) as the lead maritime security agency, should exert the required pressure to establish acceptable standard of maritime governance in collaboration with local and international stakeholders.
“In appreciation of the needs of NN to deliver on the national mandate, the Federal Government has committed enormous investment, though short of the evaluated requirements, to maintain a reasonably virile Navy.
“These have been possible through the provision of scarce resources for fleet capitalisation, operating logistics, training and training support.
“Huge resources have also been committed to provide maintenance facilities, operational support infrastructure and improve personnel welfare,” he said.
The CDS urged the Course participants to bring to bear the knowledge they had acquired in the new responsibilities that would be assigned to them.
He commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for its continued support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and assured him of their total loyalty.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, said that the NWCN was established to bridge the identified gaps in the operational knowledge acquired at the Armed Forces Command.
Ibas said the gaps to be bridged included knowledge acquired at the Staff College and the strategic learning at the National Defence Academy.
He said that the NWCN was primarily packaged to equip Naval officers of the ranks of commander/captain and equivalents, to think operationally in exercising authority and responsibilities in conflicts.
“Thee Course 1/2017 is the first fruit the college is yielding to the Navy with the graduation of 15 senior officers of the Armed forces of Nigeria,” he said.
Comdr. Thaddeus Udofia, Commandant of the NWCN, said that the college was established to deepen operational leadership competencies of select senior officers to deal with increasing complexity of the 21st century environment.
“Essentially, the Naval Warfare Course 1 package focused on developing participants’ ability to reduce complexities, connect seemingly disparate events and recognise patterns.
“And based on the picture that emerges, forecast trends in the situations for weeks or months ahead,” he said.
Udofia disclosed that the participants were 12 Naval officers; two Ngerian Air Force officers and one Nigerian Army Officer.
Cdr. A. Agunbiade secured the Chief of Naval Staff Golden Award; Group Capt. D. Babalola came second and also got the best Research Merit Award, while Cdr. U Aneke came third. (NAN)