CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN writes that with his recently unveiled vision, new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo has set the momentum for his administration.
During their inaugural meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the new service chiefs where charged to end the war against insurgency and improve security across the nation.
The President, a former Military General, also didn’t mince words when he asked them to look after the welfare of their officers so that they can deliver on the frontlines.
President Buhari was quoted as saying “Ensure they feel professionally and physically secure. In terms of equipment and other logistics, we are doing our best, and will do more.
“Give officers you can trust command, and support them. Respect seniority and intellectualism, but also use people who can deliver, those who show courage and leadership qualities.
For the president, he has seen it all and understands what will help a Commander deliver.
Therefore, when the new Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo unveiled his vision, it was not difficult to understand that he knows what he wants and craves the support of his lieutenants.
During his maiden meeting with principal staff officers, flag officers commanding and commanders of autonomous units of the Nigerian Navy at Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Admiral Gambo said his vision is “to leverage on all factors of national location, technology, training, teamwork and synergy to re-energise the Nigerian Navy and enhance her as a well-motivated and ready naval force in the discharge of her Constitutional mandate and other assigned tasks in fulfillment of national security objectives.”
The CNS also stated that his Mission is ”to optimise the deployment of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of her Constitutional roles and the undertaking of assigned tasks while promptly responding with commensurate actions to other emerging national security challenges
He understands what is needed for the vision and mission to thrive, therefore, he stated “The current administration would ensure personnel welfare is accorded high priority towards enhanced patriotism, integrity, productivity, innovation, commitment and dedication. It will also focus on human capacity development through result-oriented training for enhanced professionalism and as well strengthening logistics support and maintenance capabilities to sustain equipment serviceability and platform availability.
“Furthermore, the Service will promote and sustain the Nigerian Navy core values of Integrity, Professionalism and Teamwork
The CNS added that his administration shall place a premium on human capacity development through higher training and education.
Just as his predecessor, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, the new CNS lamented the involvement of Naval personnel in illicit oil bunkering and theft in the country.
Ibas had expressed worry that while the nation has recorded significant achievements in the fight against illegal oil bunkering and crude oil theft, there are still pockets of naval personnel colluding with criminals to sabotage this effort.
As he make strides towards his vision for the service, the CNS didn’t mince words that offenders will be punished. But he noted that “On the other hand, Nigerian Navy personnel that exhibit high integrity and positive attributes that portray the NN in good light shall be rewarded handsomely.
The Chief is aware of ongoing operations in the Nigerian Navy to check piracy, sea robbery, Crude Oil Theft and illegal refining of petroleum products. He is also aware of how Nigerian Navy saved Nigeria more than N695 Billion from economic saboteurs.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had stated that the country lost about $42 billion to crude theft as well as domestic and refined petroleum products losses between 2009 and 2018.
But the Nigerian Navy with active support of sister agencies has continued to reverse the trend.
The role of personnel of the Navy is aptly captured as the CNS said “we must understand that the ‘man’ remains the most critical and important factor in military operations.”
In that, he has shown that motivation for his personnel will play an important role in his administration.
Delving into motivation, it means stimulating action by understanding the needs of employees and by utilizing their motives. The motivator is the technique used for motivation such as pay bonuses, promotion among others.
Motivation increases productivity, ensures organisational efficiency, ensures loyal workforce, ensures a reactive workforce and facilitates direction.
Every human is excited and prone to achieve more when motivated. The new Navy Chief has shown interest in this.
So, as the CNS calls for complete loyalty from all subordinate commanders and other personnel, he has indicated interest to pursue things that augur well for his ‘men’.
Definitely in the days to come, it is expected that more positive results will begin to come out from Nigerian Navy operations.
Until his appointment as the CNS, Rear Admiral Gambo was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Agency.
He is an under water warfare specialist with a sub specialisation in intelligence. The senior officer has attended several military course which include but not limited to; Sub-Technical course and officers long course both at Nigerian Navy Ship QUORRA.
He also attended junior Division 48/99 and senior course 26 both at Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji.
Other courses include, the National Defence College at the South African National Defence College.
Rear Admiral Gambo holds a PGD in Transport management and a masters degree in Transport Management (Logistics option) both from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. He is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Fellow of Certified Institute of Shipping, Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria as well as the fellow of the National Defence College, South Africa.