I am delighted to felicitate with the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy on this auspicious occasion of her 62nd anniversary. It is worth reminding ourselves that the Nigerian Navy, which was established in 1956, has grown over time into a reputable maritime force within the African Continent and beyond. I congratulate the leadership of the Nigerian Navy for attaining this remarkable milestone as well as her contribution to national security, economy and global peace and prosperity. Let me put on record that, over the years, the Navy has remained a dependable partner in nation-building; and has contributed immensely to the greatness of Nigeria. I therefore join the Chief of the Naval Staff and other well-wishers of the Navy in celebrating this milestone.

The maintenance of a peaceful maritime environment remains a critical imperative for our national and regional aspirations for growth and economic prosperity. It is therefore gratifying to note that the Nigerian Navy has been able to protect the Nation’s economic resources and provide security in our coastal waterways extending into the Gulf of Guinea. I recall with pride the recent outing of the Nigerian Navy at the EXERCISE OBANGAME EXPRESS 2018 in conjunction with other Navies within the Gulf of Guinea. The sustenance of this kind of maritime exercise is quite commendable, as it has helped in reducing the rate of criminality in the maritime domain while creating partnership, common operating procedures and enhancing interoperability. I am glad to see the renewed vigour of the Navy in sanitising Nigerian’s maritime acreage, leading to the destruction of illegal refineries, barges and stemming illicit bunkering.

The Nigerian Navy has not relented in her synergy with other foreign Navies, international agencies and maritime stakeholders in improving regional maritime security. The International Maritime Conference and Regional Maritime Exercise 2018 (IMCREMEX) organised to mark the Navy’s 62nd anniversary with the theme, “Enhancing an Integrated Maritime Strategy for Security in the Gulf of Guinea”, is testament to this noble assertion. I believe that the outcome of the Conference has provided a collective resolve to rid the Gulf of Guinea of maritime crimes for a secured and economically viable maritime domain. I therefore encourage the Nigerian Navy to continue in this feat of fashioning better ways of improving maritime security in our terrain.

On the whole, the Nigerian Navy has continued to maintain an outstanding record in the welfare and training of her personnel, acquisition of modern platforms, discipline as well as attitudinal change for enhanced performance. The recent commissioning of the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital in Calabar as well as other infrastructure and facilities is worthy of commendation. Let me assure that the National Assembly will, in the performance of its constitutional responsibilities, continually support the Nigerian Navy’s noble ideals.

It is on this note that I, once again, on behalf of my distinguished colleagues in the Senate extend my hearty congratulations to the Nigerian Navy, and wish the Service giant strides for the future. I must also commend the effort of the Editorial Board for this rich and educative special edition of ‘The Sailor’ magazine. Congratulations, Onward Together.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON

Abubakar Bukola Saraki MBBS CON (pronunciationⓘ; born on 19 December 1962) is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th president of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019.[1][2] He previously served as the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011; and was elected to the Senate in 2011, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District, and then re-elected in the 2015 general elections