Authorities of the Nigerian Navy has confirmed the plan to aquire Eight helicopters and war ships to patrol and secure the Creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta region.
According to the Nigerian Navy, through the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obinwanne Egbuchulam, though the issue of sea piracy, crude oil theft and other violent crimes in the oil and gas sector led to a 20 per cent loss in the Nation’s oil revenue in 2020, the Nigerian Navy is adopting technology, trained manpower and collaborations with international neighbours to tackle illegal activities in the maritime sector of the Nation’s economy.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obinwanne EGBUCHULAM,who made this known while delivering the 7th annual public lecture of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa Council, which had as its theme : ‘Maritime Security: Implications for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry’, said the Personel of the Navy have repelled over 44 vessel attacks by pirates with 487 oil thieves suspects arrested, 168 illegal refineries destroyed, 393 wooden boats seized.
Egbuchulam, who was represented by the Commander Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Soroh, Commodore Patrick Effah,in order to ensure that trade and commerce takes place within the nation’s maritime environment, and by extension the gulf of Guinea unhindered, the Nigerian Navy had been involved in over 24 operations this year alone to combat these illegal activities.
He explained that with the acquisition of more war ships, helicopters and other equipment, the incidences of sea robbery and piracy along the maritime environment had been drastically reduced, stabilizing security in the region.
The Chairman of the occasion and the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, said maritime insecurity was a serious issue that needed to be tackled seriously.
The Monarch however stressed that a holistic approach that includes making the economy functional to create jobs for the people was the best way to address the menace.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Ayibaina Duba, commended the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ , for organizing the lecture that focused on maritime security and its implications for the oil and gas industry.
In an address of welcome, Chairman of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel, Mr Chris Eze, said the focus of this year’s lecture was maritime security aimed at calling attention of stakeholders to take action to secure the nation’s waterways.
There were goodwill messages from Academics, Activists, the State Commissioner of Police, government officials and the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, YECCIMA.
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