Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba concludes a ship inspection mission at the NNS Delta in Warri, Nigeria
PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN NAVY
3 June, 2013
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele
Ezeoba on Monday called for
cooperation between African navies
towards benefiting from the abundant
wealth which the sea can provide for the
people of the continent. He said that there was need for application of political will by African leaders towards the realisation of this objective.
Ezeoba said that the sea occupies three
quarters of the earth and that the need to install relevant infrastructures would l
give Africa advantage in tapping into the unexplored resources of the sea for
national and continental development.
The Naval Chief said in an interview in
Johannesburg that it was important to have an enduring legal framework that
would allow African nations to interact
freely at sea. “This can help in building structures that will help the continent promote economic development,” the navy chief said.
“If we are able to enforce the legal
framework, it would allow for mutual
cooperation by way of training, joint training and exercises by ensuring
that we enforce the rights of innocent
passage as capture within framework of free navigation .
“All these will promote the economic
development of our continent and
ensuring that our maritime bases is safe
for other purposes,and that is the key for
economic development, and that is the
focus for the 21st century,’’ Ezeoba said.
He said the success in the promotion of
developmental initiatives cannot be
pursued in isolation.
“We must give room to working
together for the overall benefit all
countries in the continent, because that is what will be needed to create a safe
environment across the continent while
working within the framework of Sea Power for Africa agenda.
“Africa is the continent of hope and
Africa is the beckon of the future, we
have no choice than beginning to put
structure in place to ensure that we
optimally actualise these objectives.
“That is one of the plans we would be
consolidating because within the
framework of the sea power for Africa
which we are proposing, there is a platform for us to interact and cross fertile of ideas and develop a common platform in terms of strategies that will help us to further develop capacities.
“ What is important is that developing those capacities must be anchored on
synergy of effort and economic of
resources that will ensure that we
maximise the gains for our capabilities.“Knowing that there are some countries in Africa that have very limited capability to protect their maritime
base,’’ Ezeoba said.
In his contribution, South Africa’s Director of Naval Personnel, Adm.Asiel Kubo, who was present during interview, said cooperation between Nigerian and South African Navies was long overdue. He stressed that the African continent stands to benefit from the cooperation between the navies of the two countries.
“I think this is long overdue, I believe
that the cooperation between Nigeria and South Africa can actually help in the
development of the whole continent in
terms of the relationship between the
two countries and collaboration between all the countries in the continent.
“We are not pushing for Nigeria only, but we are pushing for the entire continent. But we all know that Nigeria is the powerhouse in the continent and just as South Africa is also emerging as a powerhouse in Africa, so if the two countries work together, I think the Africa will benefit immensely,’’ Kubo said.
Adm.Ezeoba is in South Africa to follow
up on the bilateral defence protocol
signed between Nigeria and South Africa during the State visit of President
Goodluck Jonathan to South Africa in May.