The Nigerian Navy on Wednesday expressed fears that the non release of its N4.5bn capital appropriations for 2013 could affect the contractual agreement it entered into for the supply of Offshore Patrol Vessels .
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, stated this when he was defending his 2014 budget before the Senate Committee on Navy.
He added that any spending by the Nigerian Navy should be seen as an investment, which was capable of addressing the dwindling resources in the country.
Jibrin explained that if the budget of the Navy was improved upon reasonably, “it will help to empower the Nigerian Navy to have presence around the Nigeria’s territorial waters.”
He added that through this, his officers and men would be able to take curb oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which he said, had been affecting the Nigeria economy negatively.
The Naval chief said, “It is the interest of the nation to equip the Navy to patrol the seas of the country. In the 2014, we will need ships, helicopters, and we also have to spend on baracks rehabilitation.
“Expenditure of the Nigerian Navy should be seen as investment that would help the economy”
He advocated the establishment of Naval Trust Fund, stressing that funds realised through this approach, would go a long way towards meeting the needs of the Nigerian Navy and develop the service.
He said, “This is one way that the Nigerian Navy could be developed; it is the way to develop the Navy as it is done in other oil producing countries.”