… Lists Gambo’s Numerous Achievements
Prayer and Support for the Nigerian Armed Forces & other Security Agencies, PSNAFSA, has applauded outgone Chief of Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for his tenacity at building a virile, forward-looking and responsive naval force, capable of safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment.
In a release signed by the Convener of the group, Mrs. Mary Abayomi Fatile, she noted that the Nigerian Navy achieved several commendable milestones under Gambo’s watch in twenty-nine months, ranging from recapitalization and strengthening collaborative efforts with national and international stakeholders.
Among these remarkable feats were the delivery of the brand new NNS LANA (new Hydrographic Survey Vessel) and NNS KADA , which is Nigeria’s newest Warship; signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Refit and Remodeling of Nigeria’s Flagship, NNS ARADU, as well as placing an order for two high-endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), currently being built by Dearsan Shipyard of Turkey.
Under the watch of 57-year-old vibrant Gambo, the first Presidential Fleet Review (PFR) of the Nigerian Navy since 2010, was held in honour of former President Muhammadu Buhari, during which two new ships and a new helicopter were inducted into service.
According to her, he vigorously tackled oil theft through the launch of Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, considered as the biggest anti-oil theft military operation in the history of Nigeria, with the deployment of 40 warships, 200 gunboats, 5 helicopters among other assets.
This operation recorded the seizure of 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 in the first year he assumed office.
In addition, the Falcon Eye Alignment, a state-of-the-art maritime surveillance and intelligence system, and one of the most sophisticated domain awareness systems in Africa was commissioned during his tenure.
Infact, records showed that Nigeria recorded OPEC’s biggest increase in oil production. In May 2023, Nigeria regained its position as Africa’s leading oil producer.
This was in addition to the feat of bringing down piracy levels in Nigeria’s coastal waters to the lowest levels in 27 years, thus securing the delisting of Nigeria from the global list of piracy-prone countries.
Furthermore, the Navy during Vice Admiral Gambo’s tenure advanced its local content work, completed construction of the third Seaward Defence Boats (SDB-3) and commenced the simultaneous construction of SDBs 4 and 5.
On Maritime survey , Gambo flagged off Charting and Survey of the Lower Rivers Niger and Benue; launched the first set of Indigenously-produced navigational charts of the Lower River Nigeria in the history of Nigeria, supported by AfreximBank; 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.
On law enforcement, it is on record that he secured the first set of convictions under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act (SPOMO) assented to by former President Buhari in 2019.
The Navy under his tenure made its largest-ever seizures of cocaine (45kg), aboard two rogue vessels and in 2022, it secured the interception, arrest and trial of the Super Tanker MT HEROIC IDUN, for attempting to illegally load Nigerian Crude from the Akpo Oilfield.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that the history of the Nigerian Navy cannot be completed without the tremendous developmental inputs of Gambo, in all facets of the service.
From education, where he graduated the first set of students from the Nigerian Navy’s Admiralty University of Nigeria, Delta State, to humanitarian ,where he deployed the Nigerian Navy Ships to coordinate humanitarian intervention across Niger Delta communities during the massive flood disaster of 2022, as well as hosting Exercise GRAND AFRICAN NEMO 2021 and Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS 2023, the largest multinational maritime exercises in the Gulf of Guinea, as part of foreign collaborations .
“In securing the Gulf of Guinea, Vice Admiral Gambo took the lead on the ongoing efforts to establish a Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Naval Task Force, and hosted Meeting of the Heads of Navies and Coastguards of the Gulf of Guinea nations in Abuja in April 2023 and in Lagos in May 2023.
Indeed , Vice Admiral Gambo has been able to explore and unwrap formidable factors that can guarantee a prepared naval fleet poised to ameliorate maritime insecurity for prosperity of the mainstay of the nation’s economy , thereby leaving indelible marks on the sand of time in the Nigerian Navy.“
PSNAFSA therefore wishes him well in his life’s endeavor and also reminds that one with such transformational endowment should be utilized for the prosperity of Nigeria.