The President of the Ex-Junior Airmen Lagos Chapter, Tosin Ilesanmi, has lauded the Nigerian Navy and the management of the Naval Dockyard Limited for their efforts towards protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity as well as building indigenous vessels to aid the security of the nation’s waters.
This was disclosed following a tour of the Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos on Wednesday.
The EX-JAM are alumni of the Airforce Military School, Jos, selected as part of a system where the best three officers are picked from across all states of the federation following which they undergo military and academic training.
Speaking with our correspondent, Ilesanmi said, “What we’re trying to do here is simple: to give moral support to the Navy, especially the EX-JAM community.
“These are critical times for Nigeria with respect to insecurity. The Navy must feel the pulse of civilians to know that we trust and support them to protect all of us.
“There are a lot of sacrifices they’re making and we appreciate them. We want people to understand and trust the capacity that they have. There’s a lot of local content that they’re championing which nobody talks about.
“My first message is to the Nigerian people, I want them to know that the Navy is working quietly and doing very well. Look at this whole vessel, built from scratch to finish by Nigerians on Nigerian soil? How many people know of this? This must be celebrated.”
Also speaking, the Deputy General Manager Plans at the facility, Capt. Abidemi Abu, said that work on another vessel was ongoing with hopes to be completed by October ending or November.
Abu said, “The first locally made boat was the NNS Andoni. The second one was the NNS Karaduwa commissioned in 2016 by the President.
“This one we’re working on, we’re hoping to finish it by October ending or early November to be commissioned by the current administration and it will be bigger than the first two.”
The Assistant Manager, Hull and Structure, Akinfolarin Kalejaiye, said that the Naval Dockyard was fully commercialised for the Nigerian Navy where it aided the maintenance of its ships as well as the berthing of Naval and private vessels.
Kaleijaiye said that while there were challenges faced with aging facilities in the dockyard’s foundry, there was a great deal of work being done in other sectors of the dockyard including the heavy engineering section, carpentry section as well as the electrical engineering section.
He also disclosed that the facility’s apprentice school had been reactivated for the training and absorption of labour to ensure there were hands available for the smooth running of the naval facility.