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Ex-Naval officer canvasses more funding for Navy

Nigerian Navy

Nigerian Navy

Retired Cdr. Idris Yusuf on Thursday advised the Federal Government to increase the funding of Nigerian Navy to enable it combat crime.

Yusuf made the appeal in Abuja at the launch of his book: “The Nigerian Navy: Development Amidst Contemporary Challenges’’.

He noted that inadequate funds and equipment was hampering the Navy from curbing the incessant cases of oil theft and other sea troubles.

According to him, whatever complaints there may be about the Navy, it is not entirely its fault.

“It is not absolutely the fault of the Nigerian Navy as an institution and I will not be sorry to say that it is the fault of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“It failed to fund the Nigerian Navy properly and adequately so that it can withstand any challenges both internally and externally especially at sea with crude oil theft.

“In the past they were trying but right from the 80s when we had Structural Adjustment Programme, that was when the military as a whole and specifically the Nigerian Navy started going down because it meant reduction in their budgetary allocation.’’

He noted that in other countries with such natural resource, stakeholders came together to ensure that the nation’s reserve was preserved.

Yusuf also said that the Nigerian Civil War was won by the Nigerian military because of the effort of the Navy, saying its role should not be under emphasised.

“There’s no way the Army would have been able to capture the enemy soldiers in the riverine areas without the help of the Navy ferrying them.

“So the Navy’s role is enormous but unfortunately most of the books written about the civil war gave kudos to the army. The Navy was greatest among the services.’’

The ex-Naval officer, however, explained that he wrote the book because of his deep rooted interest in the profession he had worked at for 30 years.

Chairman of the occassion, Mr Tom Adaba, said the book would serve as a major contribution to the course of development and progress in the country especially as it relates to security.

“Reading the book would clearly show how far the Navy has gone, what the challenges have been, how they were able to counter them or survive.

“Especially bearing in mind their role that is usually not publicised in war situations,’’ he said.

The chairman also said that the book is very crucial to nation building and that it was a worthwhile development in the area of security in Nigeria.

“I think these are things that make us again look at the totality of the Nigerian security system and ask ourselves how much are we helping them to protect us.

“We need to give them all the encouragement to continue rather than deride them and run them down from time to time which is usually very discouraging,’’ he advised.

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