The Nigerian Navy has reaffirmed its determination to tighten security around choke points in the maritime environment and the gulf of guinea, with the implementation of ‘Exercise Sharkbite’.
This was made known by the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, during a two-day sea exercise.
According to him, exercise sharkbite was not to inconvenience law abiding seafarers, but to give the assurance that adequate measures are put in place to protect them as well as their properties.
A routine preparation was conducted by naval officers of the eastern naval command on board NNS Okpabana, the flag ship of the command for the sea exercise.
Rear admiral Oluwole, explained that the focus of the exercise is to enhance the preparedness of the command against maritime crime and criminality.
According to him, it is expected to “enhance the capacity of the command in the fight against piracy, sea robbery, hijacking, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft, among other maritime crimes, while implementing the directive of zero tolerance to all forms of maritime illegalities on Nigerian waters”.
The exercise which was conducted by four ships include man overboard, target shooting, anti-piracy and air-sea simulation operations.
At the end of the operation, the FOC gave a summary of what had been done and areas where operational improvement would be made.
In his words: “there some areas we noticed that operational improvements should be made, although they are not critical areas that we should worry about.
“The four ships that participated in the exercise were able to go through simulation operation flawlessly, proving that the navy is ready to undertake real life assignments as the need arises.”
Exercise sharkbite is sequel to an exercise earlier conducted at the Armed Forces Simulation Centre Jaji, Kaduna, between October 10 and October 14, 2016.