Navy fully equipped to provide hydrographical charts, data – Hydrographer

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The Hydrographer of the Federation, Rear Adm. Ayodeji Olugbode says the Nigerian Navy is fully equipped to produce up-to-date navigational charts and hydrographical data for the development of the nation’s blue economy.

Olugbode, who is also the Hydrographer of the Navy and Chief Executive Officer, National Hydrographic Agency, said this while briefing newsmen on the 2024 World Hydrography Day Celebration on Friday in Abuja.

He said the theme for the 2024 World Hydrography Day is “Hydrographic Information: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Sustainability in Marine Activities.”

Olugbode said the Nigerian navy had since the acquisition of its OCEA-built vessel, OSV 190 ‘NNS LANA, delivered in 2021 and recent OSV 115, had been able to boost Nigeria’s hydrographical data.

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He said that Nigeria no longer rely on foreign charts, adding that the navy had over the years, developed capability in house and could rapidly get data updated.

According to him, we don’t need to wait for anybody to validate our data anymore and we no longer need to send data abroad for validation.

Olugbode said the field of hydrography was crucial for safe navigation, marine resource management, and environmental protection.

“This year, we continue this journey by focusing on the significance of accurate and up-to-date hydrographic data in ensuring safe navigation, optimising operational efficiency, and promoting sustainable practices in the maritime industry.

“This theme resonates deeply with the core principles of hydrography. Safety is paramount for all maritime stakeholders, and it hinges on accurate hydrographic data.

“This data allows seafarers to navigate confidently, mitigating risks associated with navigation hazards and ensuring the safety of lives and property at sea.

“For example, our surveys have been crucial in planning and constructing new ports, such as the Lekki Deep Sea Port, transforming our trade landscape and enhancing our capacity to handle increased cargo volumes,’’ he said.

The hydrographer said that the navy had also been working with key stakeholders to ensure that its products were properly utilised, to sustain the nation’s blue economy.

He said the 2024 celebration would commence on June 14 to June 19, featuring awareness lectures on hydrography to selected secondary schools in Abuja, Enugu, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.

The lectures, according to him, is aimed at inspiring young minds to consider careers in hydrography, ensuring we have the human capacity to provide quality hydrographic services to Nigeria’s policymakers and mariners alike.

He added that there would be a one-day seminar to exchange knowledge and foster collaboration on the critical role of hydrographic data in promoting maritime safety and sustainable practices.

“Additionally, we will introduce the Catalogue of Nigerian Charts, enhancing accessibility to maritime resources, cataloging existing charts, and detailing future productions.

“This ensures that the maritime community has updated information for timely and effective decision-making.

“The activities lined up for the 2024 World Hydrography Day celebration aim to create awareness and elicit the right response for the sustainable management of hydrographic information.

“These efforts will harness the full potential of hydrographic data for the benefit of Nigeria’s Blue Economy, supporting maritime safety and fostering economic development,’’ he added.(NAN)

By Sumaila Ogbaje

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