AFRICAN MILITARY CHIEFS ADVOCATE JOINT MILITARY TRAINING

Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service commandos do their traditionally qualitative thing

PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN NAVY

VOICE OF NIGERIA
30 July, 2013

Delegates to the First Regional Maritime
Awareness Capability Conference have
advocated for joint military training to
curb the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea, for better socio-economic
activities. The stakeholders, who converged on Tinapa in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Southern Nigeria made the call at a conference organised with the United States Embassy, Office of Security Cooperation.

The conference, which has in attendance
the chiefs of naval staff from twelve West and Central African countries including the United States Navy as well as the maritime security personnel from the UK has the theme, “Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Systems: a Key for Enhancing Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.”

The delegates, who agreed that
challenges such as “poor surveillance infrastructure, safety of the information
shared, maritime boundary disputes
and other operational issues severely
hinders security of the region” also proffered the creation of an information
centre within each country for private
merchant ships.

Economic Activities

Minister of State for Defence, Erelu
Olusola Obada described the conference
as being designed to assist participating
countries to synergise to enhance
maritime security using surveillance
technology. Obada said “the proposed maritime strategy for the Gulf of Guinea
recognised the need for a collaborative
effort at eradicating maritime crime for
genuine socio-economic activities to
thrive.”

The Minister of State remarked that the
lack of basic maritime domain awareness and policies, tactics, techniques and procedures as well as training had allowed criminals and terrorists operating with little hindrance.

She noted that many African countries
including Nigeria lost billions of dollars
due to the inability to effectively patrol
the Exclusive Economic Zones, territorial
waters and ports. “The establishment of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability, RMAC system, which comprised Detection, Analysis and Warning,is the sure way for Nigerians to enforce maritime governance and prevent illegal activities”, Obada said.

Also, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice
Admiral Dele Ezeoba said the Gulf of
Guinea was a “strategic maritime environment with enormous potential
that is persistently challenged by threat
such as sea robbery, piracy, crude oil
theft, pipeline vandalism and unregulated fishing as well as proliferation of small arms and light weapons.” Ezeoba called for a more constructive, proactive, sustainable and holistic maritime safety apparatus that would secure the region for optimal exploration and exploitation of its abundant resources for germane economic growth.

The Chief of Naval Staff suggested that
the Gulf’s framework must be anchored
on the Yaoundé declaration within the
context of existing code of conduct,
protocols and memoranda of the
commission and sub-Saharan Africa. He urged stakeholders at the on-going 3
day conference to focus on “modalities for integration of present Maritime
Domain Awareness capabilities,
achieving optimal utilization of RMAC
facilities and develop an operational
framework for intelligence and
information sharing.”

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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19 Responses to AFRICAN MILITARY CHIEFS ADVOCATE JOINT MILITARY TRAINING

  1. eyimola says:

    Sorry, but I don’t like it. I am all for military cooperation, but draw the line at joint training or indeed large scale intelligence sharing. Why is there always an assumption that our interests are completely aligned with neighbouring countries?

  2. makanaky says:

    @eyimola i completely agree with you, cooperation fine but limited training as national security is compromised when everybody knows or can predict what we can or cannot do ! as not all have our interest at heart.

  3. Yagazie says:

    Equitoreal Guinea has the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability system and (i stand to be corrected) we have never heard of piracy taking place within their territorial waters. That’s because they have (relative to their size) a well equipped Navy and so Pirates steer clear. Our problem is that we talk too much at seminars and conferences. The solution is simple: The Govt should have the political will to close its eyes and do the right thing- i.e. – properly fund and equip the Navy with ocean going platforms/fixed wing and rotor wing assests for effective maritime surveillance of our territorial waters/EEZ. I am not comfortable with the idea of having joint training /intelligence sharing on a wide scale, on a very limited scale – ok. For one with the possible exception of South Africa and Equitoreal Guinea and possibly Ghana, none of the other Gulf of Guinea countries have an operational navy worth talking about. Thus we should simply equip our Navy to have the capability i.e. – satellites- (which we already have), Maritme Patrol Aircraft and long range helos as well as OPVs/Warships) to operate anywhere within the Gulf of Guinea if called upon to do so.

    • eyimola says:

      Exactly. Our neighbours are weak and militarily irrelevant (apart from plucky chad). Nigeria needs to focus squarely on her own military training programme,

      • Acting Major Benbella says:

        Oh Nigeria! I can almost guarantee that five years from now there will other conferences taking place amongst Gulf of Guinea border states on this issue of piracy because no solution would have been found. It is really disheartening to have groups of leaders over the years who simply could not stir themselves from their laziness sufficiently enough to put in place all the necessary measures for securing Nigeria and its interests. This is so retarded especially in the face of the massive thefts going on in the Niger Delta and our EEZ.

      • eyimola says:

        I don’t think Nigeria can survive 5 more years of this sort of abuse. Something needs to be done fast.

  4. igbi says:

    it seems to me that the minister is abusing her authority. She seems to think that she is a military personnel. She gives her personal comments on military matters without consulting with the military. She has forgotten that she never went to NDA. Why can’t we give her job to an ex general with a perfect record ? Giving the job to people who know nothing about the military is counterproductive.

  5. chucks says:

    I feel so pained at the fact that Nigeria will be having irrelevant seminars and conferences when they know the obvious. I wonder what it would cost our govt to have a blue sea Navy! Ghana and equitorial guinea keeps equiping their Navies like its going out of fashion. Let the politicians steer clear of hardware procurement and allow the proffessionals do it. Otherwise, I would suggest NNPC in collabo wit the Military high command commence immediate equipping of our Navy. On a lighter note, dear bloggers am new here (though has been following this blog for a while), I really appreciate ur patriotism. God bless u and bless our dear country

    • igbi says:

      Let someone tell the minister of defense that she is supposed to voice the military and not to voice her self. She is not supposed to be taking any military decisions on her own, they are all supposed to be coming from the chiefs of defense staff, of army staff, naval staff and air staff. She is there to be like their lawyer. She is behaving like if the armed forces were her personal business

  6. beegeagle says:

    Welcome to Beegeagle’s Blog, Chucks. You are already sounding like a valuable addition to the fold. There are messages of welcome for you in the thread on the pullout from Mali which was published yesterday.

    Delta pikin..you entertained us a bit yesterday🙂

  7. Yagazie says:

    Gentlemen, I am not holding brief for the minister of state for Defence- but please lets go easy on her!!
    Her speech would have been prepared by technochrats in the MOD and I would want to believe that the Naval top-brass (including our indefatiguible CDS) would have had some input into the speech. Apart from the call for closer training/intelligence sharing with our neigbours (which I believe could have been a ‘political sop’ to flatter them)- everything that she has said makes sense.

    My only grouse it that we know what the problem is – as well as the solution- we also have the money to purchase the necessary assets that will solve the problem. What is lacking is the Political Will to deal with the problem.

    Let me give an example. Drugs are smuggled from Mexico and Columbia to the US by sea through the Gulf of Mexico. However I don’t see the US calling for a naval conference of all the coastal states in that region to deal with the problem. The US (through its well equipped and funded Coast Guard) deals with the problem head on. We should do the same.

    ALL the oil theft and about 99.9% of the piracy takes place in our territorial waters/EEZ. This is our problem and we should deal with it squarely and stop wasting time on ‘shooting breeze’ at the probelm in conferences/seminars. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.

  8. Henry says:

    Oga chucks, I beg to differ with you. We are not sitting down or merely only organising seminars. Over the past year we have seen resuscitation, local manufacturing and purchase of multiple vessels for the navy, army amphibious units nimasa. Including the installation of modern surveillance equipment/ digitalization of the navy’s eastern command at calabar. We have placed orders for 2 chinese stealth OPV’s/light frigates, another 2 from the pipavav plant in india. 2 more decommissioned ships from the US, and an expression of interest in for the purchase an OPV from france. Infact the nigerian navy later this month or next month would be hosting an OPV conference. We understand that we do not have enough platforms to patrol our EEZ, however the assertion that nothing is being done about this problem is “bunkus”.

    The mention of ghana is comical to be honest. However for equatorial guinea, they have a pretty decent navy for their size. Not as large as nigeria, but very good. We do understand that we are short on platforms, ocean going platforms and rotor wings. That is where the FGN has to double up on efforts.

  9. Yagazie says:

    Oga Henry, nice and well balanced factual response. I stand suitably chastised.

    If we are too hard on our Govt- it’s because ‘too whom much is given, much is expected’. The Country has the human and financial resources to radically re-equip our navy and military within the shortest possible time frame- but the process seems to be moving at a slow pace with equipment being purchased in twos and threes instead of in larger numbers. I guess that could be the reason for our frustration/impatience.

    However in all fairness the current govt (under the leadership of our PRESIDO GEJ) has done A LOT to reverse the rot/decline that had set in our military in general and the Navy in particular. Lets not forget that.

  10. jimmy says:

    Amen my brothers oga yagazie and oga henry you said it all

  11. doziex says:

    @ Yagazie and @ chucks, I think your initial critical instincts were correct.

    Thanks to senator Anyanwu, Admiral Ola saad ibhrahim and the embarrassing dominance of bunkerers and pirates in our territorial waters, the Nigerian navy is getting some ships from china and india.

    What about the other services ?

    This blog has lobbied NAF and president the GEJ govt for over a year concerning the ex IAF SUKHOIs only to watch ’em end up with the Ethiopian air force.

    Uganda and Angolan air forces are also building up their SU-30mk2 fleets, and the NAF and Nigeria feels its ok to mark time with refurbished alpha jets or other trainers.

    Our recent embarrassing snub by the UN in Mali. Should let Nigerians know what the rest of the world thinks of our so called clout.

    My fellow citizens, lets please stop this self congratulatory self deception.

    Lets do our damned best, to send the message to president GEJ that his administration is woefully under achieving vis a vis Nigerian military interests.

    And our military clout, is directly proportional to geopolitical clout.

    President GEJ must raise his geopolitical and military awareness to the level of his counterparts, in angola, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya and of course south Africa.

    • jimmy says:

      Preach it my brother, As a Father I tell my kids to strive to attain high STANDARDS everyday i do not tell them to be below average. This is what is going on in the air force today and it did not start with G.E.J. it goes back to IBB followed by A.A, followed by OBJ , I give Yaradua ( R.I.P.) a pass G.E.J I expect a lot more from him and please hold the emails a lot is being given to GEJ and therefore a lot is being expected of him .
      We expect him to deliver the L-15s , also at a minimum the j10 and the SU27.

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