The Federal Government, at the weekend, handed over a newly constructed jetty and shoreline protection facilities at the Underwater Warfare School in Navy Town, Ojo, to the Nigerian Navy (NN) with a pledge to continuously bridge infrastructural deficit in the military.
Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, made this pledge as he expressed optimism that the facilities would not only boost personnel’s capacity and stimulate aggressive drive to secure the country against criminality, but better position the service in its response to emerging trends and sophistication in modern warfare, especially as it relates to security challenges hampering growth and nation building.
“By and large, the intervention of the Federal Government on the shoreline protection works and construction of jetty brought about huge relief and assuage the fear of menace of erosion and other ecological challenges in the area,” he said.
According to Mamora, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to ensuring no part of the country suffered neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.
“The completion of this project has further demonstrated Mr President’s commitment to addressing problems confronting various communities across the country.
“I therefore implore the state government and the Underwater Warfare School to cherish this laudable project and to protect it from any abuse. It is the responsibility of the school to own and maintain the project to ensure its sustainability,” said Mamora.
Earlier, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the event was a milestone in the intervention efforts of the Ecological Fund Office at addressing ecological challenges across the country.
Admiral Gambo added that the facilities would enhance NN maritime security operations, adding that the timely completion had staved off fears associated with shoreline erosion, including attendant risks of flooding to the entire landscape.
“This is even more worrisome, considering that Navy Town is a strategic naval establishment housing the largest NN barracks, as well as other major NN establishments, including providing a sheltered harbour for berthing of critical naval assets and some of our vessels.
“Again, this project has enhanced the aesthetic outlook of the shoreline, thus facilitating other recreational use of the adjourning water body. I wish to state that the NN will take ownership of the project and I assure that we will ensure the sustainability and maintenance of this project,” said the CNS.
He appealed to the government to complete dredging activities from Badagry creeks to enable earmarked ships to berth at the new jetty.
“Additional dredging operations would therefore be required to facilitate a safe and unhindered use of the jetty. Additionally, I would urge further intervention in the area of the shoreline protection from the current 80 meters to at least another 400 meters to cover up to the JMSTC and the SBS Camp, which is currently nearing completion.
“This way, I believe that the FGN would have had returns on the resources committed to the project and greatly reinvigorate NN’s response and strike capability against the criminal elements at sea,” he said.
The CNS also appealed for more ecological fund office’s intervention in other identified sites at NN bases and establishments like Escravos, Ibaka, Igbokoda, and Calabar jetties.
In her address, the Permanent Secretary (PS), Office of Ecological Fund, Dr Habiba Lawal, said the government executed the project as a result of imminent danger posed by devastating recurring erosions and flooding that had been threatening the life and property of the communities.
“It is our conviction that this project intervention will provide succour to the communities which lives and properties were in danger,” said Lawal, who was represented by a director, Yusuf Adi.