Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has said that, the Command had deactivated 175 illegal refining sites and arrested 27 vessels within 11 months.
The Outgone Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim, stated this in Calabar while handing over the leadership of the command to his successor, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu
Rear Adm. Ibrahim said that, the vessels were arrested for engaging in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.
He reiterated that, the achievements recorded were made possible through the command’s sustained patrol of its area of responsibility as well as undertaking several clearances and swamp buggy operations in the backwaters.
The Outgoing Officer noted that, these operations resulted in a considerable reduction of piracy in Nigeria’s maritime domain, as well as led to the arrest of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.
According to him, other achievements included: the deactivation of about 175 illegal refining sites, the evacuation of about 35,384,718 metric tonnes of illegally refined diesel and the destruction of several pirates as well as kidnappers’ hideouts.
He added that, the Command also conducted and took part in some independent, joint and combined exercises such as: Operation Bekan Mmon 2, Ex Kafa Iko, Ex Beni Kekere among others, in line with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwal Gambo
He recalled a recent arrest of MT Preyor 1 on Jan. 5, 2022, which was transporting no less than 2,458,350 litres of crude oil in her cargo tanks and additional 10,000 litres of diesel in her service tanks without the requisite approval.
Admiral Ibrahim said that, there was also an ongoing “Operation River Dominance” initiated by the Nigeria Navy Ship Pathfinder in conjunction with the Government of Rivers
He noted that, there was also an ongoing “Operation River Dominance” initiated by the Nigeria Navy Ship Pathfinder in conjunction with the government of Rivers.
He said that, the operation helped to intensify patrols in the Riverine areas in addition to establishing waterborne guard posts along the chokepoints.
He added that, the command also recorded huge successes which include: the arrest of 13 suspects, 14-large wooden boats laden with illegally refined diesel and three barges, each carrying about a million litres of suspected stolen crude oil.
Admiral Ibrahim added that, the Command’s anti-smuggling efforts had led to the seizure of no less than 3,147 bags of 50kg parboiled foreign rice and bags of fertilizer.
He also said that, the command executed various projects within its headquarters which included: the remodelled Ofice of the FOC, the remodelled gate, the newly constructed visitors’ reception and the observation post.
He however implored officers and men of the Command to support the incoming FOC to enable him to surpass his achievements during his time.
He urged the officers and men of the command to give him the necessary support and encouragement with a view to moving the command forward.