The Nigerian Navy (NN) has commenced critical examination of challenges faced by its Engineering Branch in the provision of requisite interventions for ships availability and equipment serviceability.
The examination, according to the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, was to enable the service initiate and sustain policies and programmes to improve operational efficiency, effectiveness and cohesion.
Speaking at the two days Naval Engineering Branch (NEB) Retreat with the theme “Repositioning the Naval Engineering Branch for Effective Service Delivery” in Lagos, the Chief of Naval Staff noted that engineers and technicians were the driving forces towards sustaining fleet and assets of any Navy.
“It is against this background that the Naval Engineering Retreat 2021 seeks to thoroughly scrutinise the organisational structure, training, practices and career management of the engineering branch and its personnel with a view to determining the ways of improving the current situation,” he added.
He expressed hope that the pragmatic and essential changes to the career development of engineers would elicit the needed stimulus to reposition the branch for enhanced productivity and fast-track improvements in operational efficiency, downtime and availability of Nigerian Navy ships in line with the transformation drive.
AVM Gambo said availability of ships and equipment serviceability were part of his vision, assuring that resolutions reached at the retreat would be given due considerations.
According to him, the Naval Headquarters will continue to do all within its power to retain the confidence the government has reposed on the Nigeria Navy.
“This would entail us initiating and sustaining policies and programmes geared towards improving operational efficiency, effectiveness and cohesion within the service.
“In a broad sense, our gathering here is one of the many ways of enhancing the performance of the navy by addressing key issues that could impinge administration, training and practice of engineering, as such, this would ultimately improve organisational structure, training, practice and career development in the NEB, with a corresponding overall positive impact on the Navy.
“The Naval Headquarters will study the recommendations of the retreat with a view to developing ways that would ensure successful implementation.”
Participants the event also brought the fore, the need to promulgate a comprehensive technical training policy which should include maintenance requirements from the fleet to develop a training curriculum, as well as three-year phased plan for the upgrade of Nigerian Navy maintenance infrastructure and provision of modern tools.
Also, a committee to facilitate the NN adoption of Rate Running Contract (RRC) and Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) spare management model, and to work out the categorisation of Nigerian Navy ships, helicopters for maintenance and determination of their maintenance needs were also suggested.
At the end of the two days event, recommendations reached was the establishment, operation and maintenance of a data mining office to assist in Naval Engineering Planning
Other dignitaries that grace the event were former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Admiral GJ Jonah (Rtd); Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Oladele Daji; Chief of Policy and Plans (CPPLANS), Rear Admiral Christian Ezekobe; Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, and other senior officers.