Navy Deactivates 294 Illegal Refinery Sites, Arrests 27 Vessels
A total of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering and crude oil theft have been arrested by the Eastern Naval Command.
The Navy also deactivated 294 illegal refinery sites.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the outgone Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu in Calabar, Cross River State while handing over the command to his successor, Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire.
Dewu said the arrests were made between the period he assumed office as flag officer of the command, on February 4, 2022, and when he left the command on April 11, 2023.
According to him, the command also effectively patrolled its maritime area of responsibility and undertook several “clearance and swamp buggy operations” in the backwaters, adding that the operations resulted in a considerable reduction of piracy in Nigeria’s maritime domain.
He further stated that the command took part in some independent, joint, and combined exercises like Operation Calm Waters, Operation Tripartite Border Patrol, Operation Tsare Teku, Operation Gba Pada, Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, and Operation Obangame 2023.
“Within the period under review, from February 4, 2022, to date, our sustained operations led to the arrest of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft, and other maritime illegalities.
“Other achievements include deactivation of about 294 illegal refining sites and still counting, destruction and evacuation of illegally refined diesel, kerosine and crude oil and destruction of several pirates as well as kidnappers’ camps.
“It is noteworthy to state that the command also recorded significant achievements in infrastructural development across all the bases and establishments under the command,” he said.
He listed the projects as the remodelling of Eastern Naval Command swimming pool with a lounge, mini-mart, and restaurant, remodelling of the multi-purpose sports hall and conference room, the construction of corner shops, and a gym at 1006 officers’ quarters.
“Furthermore, across the bases and units, the commanders and commanding officers have embarked on a series of projects towards improving the welfare and security of the personnel.
“We remain grateful to God Almighty who made it all possible and the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, for graciously providing the resources.
“I, therefore, implore you all to fully support the incoming Flag Officer Commanding to enable him to surpass these achievements during his time here,” he said.
Responding, the new FOC Rear Adm. Oluwagbire lauded his predecessor for the achievements he recorded in the command and sought the support and cooperation of officers and men in the command to enable him to succeed.
“I look forward to contributing my quota towards achieving the Chief of the Naval Staff mission of optimising the deployment of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of our constitutional roles and undertaking assigned tasks,” he said.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that a 45-year-old property agent, Kingsley James was on Tuesday, convicted and sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for N5.5 million fraud by Ibrahim Emmanuel of Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court.