PSNAFSA applauds outgone CNS, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo


# Prayer and Support for the Nigerian Armed Forces &other Security Agencies , PSNAFSA hereby applauds   outgone  Chief of the Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo , for his tenacity at building a virile, forward looking and responsive naval force, capable of safeguarding the nation's maritime environment.

 It is pertinent to note that the Nigerian Navy  achieved several commendable milestones under Gambo’s watch, in 29 months,  ranging from recapitalization and strengthening collaborative efforts with national and international stakeholders.

Among these remarkable feats were : the delivery of the brand new NNS LANA (new Hydrographic Survey Vessel) and NNS KADA , which is Nigeria’s newest Warship;  signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Refit and Remodeling of Nigeria’s Flagship, NNS ARADU, as well as placing  an order for two  high-endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), currently being built by Dearsan Shipyard of Turkey.

Under the watch of 57-year-old vibrant Gambo,  the first Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) of the Nigerian Navy since 2010,  was held in honour of former President Muhammadu  Buhari, during which two new  Ships and a new helicopter were inducted into service.

He vigorously tackled oil theft through the launch of  Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, considered as  the biggest anti-oil theft military operation in the history of Nigeria, with the deployment of  40 warships, 200 gunboats, 5 helicopters among other assets.

This operation recorded  the seizure of  728,000 barrels of crude oil, 44.5 million liters of illegally-refined diesel, 2.46 million liters of kerosene, amounting to more than 71 Billion in the first year he assumed office.  

In addition, the Falcon Eye Alignment, a state-of-the-art maritime surveillance and intelligence system, and one of the most sophisticated domain awareness systems in Africa was commissioned during his tenure.

Infact, records showed that Nigeria   recorded OPEC’s biggest increase in oil production. In  May 2023, Nigeria regained its position as Africa’s leading oil producer. This was in addition to the  feat of bringing down piracy levels in Nigeria’s coastal waters to the lowest levels in 27 years, thus  securing the delisting of Nigeria from the global list of piracy-prone countries.

Furthermore, the Navy during  Vice Admiral Gambo’s tenure advanced its local content work, completed construction of the third Seaward Defence Boats (SDB-3) and commenced the simultaneous construction of SDBs 4 and 5.

On Maritime survey , Gambo     flagged off  Charting and Survey of the Lower Rivers Niger and Benue;  launched  the first set of Indigenously-produced navigational charts of the Lower River Nigeria in the history of Nigeria, supported by AfreximBank; Flagged off the Pre-Dredging Hydrographic Survey of the proposed Sea Access Route from Oguta Lake in Imo State, through the Orashi River, to the Atlantic Ocean, a collaboration between the Imo State Government, the Nigerian Navy, and a consortium of technical partners and .

On law enforcement, it is on record that  he secured the first set of convictions under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act (SPOMO) assented to by former  President Buhari in 2019. The Navy under his tenure  made  its largest-ever seizures of cocaine (45kg), aboard two rogue vessels and in 2022, it secured  the interception, arrest and trial of the Super Tanker MT HEROIC IDUN, for attempting to illegally load Nigerian Crude from the Akpo Oilfield.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the history of the Nigerian Navy cannot be completed without the tremendous developmental inputs of Gambo, in all facets of the Service : from Education, where he graduated the first set of students from the Nigerian Navy’s Admiralty University of Nigeria, Delta State, to Humanitarian ,where he  deployed the  Nigerian Navy Ships to coordinate humanitarian intervention across Niger Delta communities during the massive flooding disaster of 2022, as well as hosting Exercise GRAND AFRICAN NEMO 2021 and Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2023, the largest multinational maritime exercises in the Gulf of Guinea, as part of foreign collaborations .

In securing the Gulf of Guinea, Vice Admiral Gambo  took  the lead on the ongoing efforts to establish a Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Naval Task Force, and hosted Meeting of the Heads of Navies and Coastguards of the Gulf of Guinea nations in Abuja in April 2023 and in Lagos in May 2023.

Indeed ,  Vice Admiral Gambo  has been able to  explore and unwrap formidable factors that can guarantee a prepared naval fleet poised to ameliorate maritime insecurity for prosperity of the mainstay of the nation’s economy , thereby leaving indelible marks on the sand of time in the Nigerian Navy.

PSNAFSA therefore wishes him well in his life’s endeavor and also reminds  that one with such transformational endowment should be utilized for the prosperity of Nigeria.

Mary Abayomi fatile
Converner .

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