Retired Naval Officer Unveils Book On Leadership, Maritime Security

By Yusuf Odejobi
Retired Naval Officer Unveils Book On Leadership, Maritime Security
L-R: Rear Admiral Francis Akpan (Rtd), Anthony General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uko Udom, SAN, and Mrs. Akpan; during the unveiling of Francis Akpan’s book titled “An Admiral’s Compass” ( Reflections on Leadership, Military Strategy and Maritime Security) in Lagos, last week.
In a bid to impact generations of naval officers, military officers and other heads of maritime agencies, a retired naval officer, Rear Admiral Francis D. Akpan has unveiled a book titled “An Admiral’s Compass (reflection on leadership, military strategy and maritime security).
The book launch held on Thursday last week at the Admiralty Conference/Event Centre, Naval Dockyard, Lagos.
According to the author, the book is meant to set the course for those who will be responsible for leadership nationally and those who will manage the various maritime organizations.
His words: “It’s like a plea to say that we have to cooperate so we can have a conducive maritime environment for the economy to thrive and for the country to develop.”
“We cannot do anything without good leadership either in the services or within other maritime organisations, so we must fit in the right kind of leaders in the 21st century that we are.”
The author also called for the adoption of grooming leaders from cradle as it is done in the Navy.
“If we adopt this, we should be able to breed the kind of leadership we expect in the service and the nation at large from the Counsellor to the President,” he stressed.
The book reviewer and former Director General, National Maritime Authority (NMA), now Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration, (NIMASA), Mr. Ferdinand Agu, noted that the central message in the book is the call for all naval officers and maritime agencies involved with maritime security to adapt to change as maritime strategic thoughts evolve and practice of maritime strategy change with time.
According to him, the book is the author’s contribution to his call for a national discussion on creating consensus around policy priorities, implementing structures, funding and investment in organizations, training and equipment for robust protection of the nation’s maritime space.
He added that book is informative, authoritative and points the true north for readers and leaders that value and demand vision, professionalism and mature judgment in those charged with duties and responsibilities as guardians of our maritime space.
“This book should be a regular companion for every naval officer, especially those in high-level command; and for anyone with interests in maritime strategy and maritime security.” He said.
Fedinand also recalled the author’s enormous contribution when he served in the then National Maritime Authority (now NIMASA), to formalize the collaboration between NIMASA and the Navy.
His words: “We began with the Hydrographer of the Navy. Years later, Admiral Akpan, as Flag Officer Commanding Western Command engineered the visionary expansion of that collaboration.
“His efforts culminated into a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding between the Navy and NIMASA. That MoU provides a strong platform for intra-sectoral collaboration and interagency cooperation, along the lines that Akpan insists, should drive our nation’s maritime governance.”
Launching the book, the book presenter representing the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uko Udom, SAN describe the author as an intelligent naval officer whom when encountered outside will think he’s just an ordinary man.
He recalled when the Gov. of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel puts together a committee for the Ibaka project, he revealed that the retired admiral was the first name that was mentioned to come on board, “he’s the right person for the job” he said.

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