Under Vice Admiral AZ Gambo’s watch as CNS, the Nigerian Navy has achieved the following:
- FLEET RECAPITALIZATION / PLATFORM ACQUISITION — DELIVERED PLATFORMS:
a. Took delivery of the brand new NNS LANA (new Hydrographic Survey Vessel) and NNS KADA (Nigeria’s newest Warship). In the Baird Maritime Awards 2021, NNS LANA was awarded ‘Best Large Research Vessel.’
b. NNS KADA embarked on its first operational deployment in August 2022 when it conveyed military hardware and logistics in support of the Nigerian contingent to the ECOWAS Stabilization Force in Guinea Bissau.
- FLEET RECAPITALIZATION / PLATFORM ACQUISITION — NEW ORDERS:
a. Signed, in June 2023, an MOU with Dearsan Shipyard of Turkey for the Refit and Remodeling of Nigeria’s Flagship, NNS ARADU
b. Placed, in 2023, an order with Dearsan of Turkey for the supply of one 57-meter Tuzla Class Patrol Boat.
c. Placed, in 2023, an order with OCEA of France for a new fleet of boats, comprising three 32-metre FPB 98 MKI fast patrol boats, six 9.8-metre OCEA RIVER 28 OB river patrol boats, and five 9.5-metre RHIBs
d. Placed, in 2022, an order with Damen Shipyards for a second new Landing Ship Tank (LST-100), to complement NNS KADA
e. Placed, in 2021, an order for 2 high-endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), currently being built by Dearsan Shipyard of Turkey.
f. Placed, in 2021, an order with OCEA of France for the delivery of a second new hydrographic and oceanographic research vessel, to complement the equally new NNS LANA.
g. Placed, in 2021, an order for three new Leonardo AW-109SP GrandNew helicopters. First one already delivered and inducted into service.
- FLEET RECAPITALIZATION / PLATFORM ACQUISITION — LOCAL CONTENT & ENGINEERING:
Advanced its local content work, completing construction of the Navy’s third Seaward Defence Boats (SDB-3), and commencing the simultaneous construction of SDBs 4 and 5.
- PRESIDENTIAL FLEET REVIEW:
Hosted the 6th Presidential Fleet Review (PFR-2023), after the last one in 2010. PFR-2023, held in honour of former President Muhammadu Buhari, saw the induction into service of 2 new Ships and a new Naval helicopter.
- POLICY AND STRATEGY DOCUMENTS:
a. Developed the CNS Strategic Directive 2021-2025, and the Nigerian Navy Strategic Plan 2021-2030
b. Launched the Nigeria Maritime Security Strategy, in May 2023.
- ANTI-PIRACY SUCCESSES:
Achieved the feat of bringing down piracy levels in Nigeria’s coastal waters to the lowest levels in 27 years, and followed this up by securing the delisting of Nigeria from the global list of piracy-prone countries
- ANTI-OIL THEFT SUCCESSES:
a. Launched Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, the biggest anti-oil theft military operation in the history of Nigeria. 40 warships, 200 gunboats, 5 helicopters deployed, among other assets.
b. In its first year, 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 Naira were seized/recovered, 199 suspects detained, 17 vessels arrested, and more than 400 illegal refining sites deactivated.
c. In March 2023, Nigeria recorded OPEC’s biggest increase in oil production, and in May 2023, Nigeria regained its position as Africa’s leading oil producer.
- NAVAL DOCTRINE:
Launched a documented/codified Naval Doctrine, for the first time in the history of the Service.
- LAW ENFORCEMENT:
a. Secured the first set of convictions under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act (SPOMO) assented to by President Buhari in 2019
b. Made its largest-ever seizures of cocaine (45kg), aboard two rogue vessels
c. Secured, in 2022 the interception, arrest and trial of the Super Tanker MT HEROIC IDUN, for attempting to illegally load Nigerian Crude from the Akpo Oilfield. (In 2023, MT HEROIC IDUN and her 26 foreign crew members pleaded guilty, and voluntarily elected to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as make restitution to the Federal Government).
Commissioned the Falcon Eye Alignment, a state-of-the-art maritime surveillance and intelligence system, and one of the most sophisticated maritime domain awareness systems in Africa.
a. Re-established the Naval Base Lake Chad
b. Established new Naval Bases in Lagos, Kano and Imo
- MARITIME SURVEY:
a. Flagged off the Charting and Survey of the Lower Rivers Niger and Benue, and launched the first set of Indigenously-produced navigational charts of the Lower River Nigeria in the history of Nigeria, supported by AfreximBank.
b. 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.
a. Established the Nigerian Navy Logistics College, in Dawakin Tofa, Kano State
b. Graduated the first set of students from the Nigerian Navy’s Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN), Delta State.
Completed/Delivered several vital infrastructure projects, including the Naval HQ Extension Complex, Maritime Warfare Building at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College; Nigerian Navy Logistics College new site, Kano; new Phases at Navy Town, Asokoro and Navy Estate, Karshi; Nigerian Navy Sports Complex, Lagos; Naval War College permanent site; Naval Officers’ Quarters Gudu, Abuja; new Administrative Block of Naval Outpost Tongeji; and many more.
- FOREIGN & LOCAL COLLABORATIONS:
a. Hosted Exercise GRAND AFRICAN NEMO 2021, and Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2023, the largest multinational maritime exercises in the Gulf of Guinea
b. Played host to HMS Trent (the first Royal Navy Vessel to be deployed in the Gulf of Guinea in since 2018), the USCGC Mohawk and the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams.
c. Hosted the maiden edition of the Sea Power for Africa Symposium, in 2021
d. Entered, in May 2023, a new partnership with The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project—the global initiative dedicated to comprehensively mapping the ocean floor by 2030.
e. Entered into partnerships with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), as well as private players like Akewa, towards enhanced maritime economy and security in Nigeria.
- SECURING THE GULF OF GUINEA:
Galvanized Heads of Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Navies and Coast Guards to establish, in 2023, a GoG Combined Maritime Taskforce, with Headquarters in Nigeria as well as pioneer Commander selected from the Nigerian Navy.
- SECURED PRESIDENTIAL CONCESSION COMMISSION:
For only the second time in the history of the Nigerian Navy, 12 qualified Master Warrant Officers (MWOs) were granted presidential concessional commission by former President Muhammadu Buhari, allowing them to be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
- SPORTS & SPORTING WELFARE:
a. Hosted the Nigerian Navy Games 2022, the first since 2017.
b. Established the Nigerian Navy Polo Team in 2021, which has gone on to win laurels at various tournaments across the country.
c. Commissioned the Nigerian Navy’s third 18-hole golf course
d. In 2022, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Volleyball Teams, The Spikers (male and female) topped the National Volleyball Division 1 and 2 Leagues respectively, and were promoted to the Premier League and Division 1 respectively.
e. CNS Spikers (male team) emerged winner of the first phase of the National Volleyball Division 1 League (June 2023)
f. CNS Spikers (male team) won the Kontagora Championship (March 2023)
g. CNS Spikers (male and female) were the only Volleyball clubs that represented Nigeria in the 2023 African Club Volleyball Championship held in Tunisia
h. CNS Spikers Volleyball teams (female) was nominated by the NVBF to represent Nigeria at the Africa Women Volleyball Championship in Tunisia.
- HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION:
Deployed Nigerian Navy Ships to coordinate humanitarian intervention across Niger Delta communities during the nationwide flooding disaster in 2022.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AZ Gambo was named the Most Outstanding Naval Chief in Africa in 2022, by the Africa Security Watch Awards and Conference; and in 2023 inducted into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) International Fellow Wall of Fame.