Oil Theft: Navy Deploys Helicopter, Four Ships, Others To Niger Delta

By Onome Oghenetega

The Nigerian Navy has deployed a helicopter and four ships to Niger Delta waterways in its avowed determination to fight crimes and illegal oil bunkering in the region to a standstill.

It also warned that it men will go rootless with the pirates operating in the region to ensure that the waterways were secured for those doing legitimate businesses in the area.

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Central Naval Command, under whose authority the helicopter, four ships and two riverine patrol boats were deployed, said there was no going back on its mandate to ensure that the nation’s waterways are free from crimes.

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Speaking on Wednesday at the flag off ceremony of the third quarter sea exercise of the Command codenamed Doufiyayai Kekere (sea protection) in Warri, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba said the exercise would help keep crime in check.

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Garba noted that the exercise is in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, to end crude oil theft and other activities capable of sabotaging the nation’s economy. 
He said, “we conduct this exercise every quarter in order to try to dominate the sea environment and to ensure that all criminal activities are done without immediately.

“What we intend to do this time around is to go out and practice our vessels in anti-poaching activities, illegal and in unregulated fishing as well as to go after vessels that refuse to switch on their automatic identification systems. 

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“Now, the purpose of this flag off is to ensure that the ships both in Warri area and Port Harcourt cast off to sea and conduct this exercise. As I am talking to you now, we have vessels that are also leaving Port Harcourt to sea,” o and carry us in the sea.” 

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The Fleet Commander Central, Commodore Sunday Oguntade, earlier stated that the three-day exercise includes practicing the vessels, among other activities, to combat maritime crimes.


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