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Oil theft, other maritime crimes have reduced in Niger Delta — Navy

Amid a sustained war against crude oil theft, the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Delta, says crude oil theft, menacing, and other maritime crimes have drastically reduced its area of responsibility.

The outgoing Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Chindo Yahaya, disclosed this during a farewell parade organised in his honour at the Warri Naval Base on Tuesday.

Yahaya said that he assumed office on May 2, 2023, as the 13th Commander of the NNS Delta, adding that despite the myriad of challenges, his tenure had recorded resounding successes in its area of operations.

According to him, some of the achievements recorded under his watch included the destruction of illegal refining sites and the arrest of sea piracy robbers.

He said that the NNS Delta also participated in various clearance operations and exercises in line with the base’s mandate of securing the maritime environment to enhance economic activities.

“I am happy to inform you that our collective efforts and commitment have brought about a commendable reduction in crude oil theft and other maritime crimes.

“The Base anti-crude oil theft operations have recorded success in the destruction of illegal refining sites in our areas of operation.

“During the period under review, the base destroyed various illegal refining sites and storage facilities containing stolen crude oil and illegally refined Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO).

“Furthermore, between May 2023 and date, the base patrolled for about 21,630 hours, resulting in the deactivation of illegal refining sites and the handling of stolen crude oil,”‘ he said.

Yahaya also said that the Base anti-crude oil theft apprehended several suspects with offences bordering on crude oil theft and improper documentation.

He said that some vessels were also apprehended and consequently handed over to the anti-graft agency and other relevant authorities for appropriate prosecutions.

Yahaya said that the deployment of swamp buggies had successfully discouraged the operations of illegal bunkering in its area of operations.

“The last swamp buggy operations we conducted between Aug. 20 and Sept. 23, 2023, recorded a total of about 105,000 litres of stolen crude oil and 18,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“This is indeed a testament to the laudable performance of this base in the period under review.

“For this, I am sincerely grateful for the dedication and commitment of all officers and ratings of the base. I urged you to extend the same and even more to the incoming commander,” he said.

The outgoing commander expressed gratitude to the Delta government, the military, and paramilitary agencies within the NNS Delta areas of operations.

He noted that the inter-agency cooperation and synergy had sustained peace in the base’s areas of operations.

Yahaya enjoined the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Base to be loyal, focused and determined in the discharge of their duties in line with the CNS’ strategic directives

He also solicited their continuous discipline, perseverance, and adherence to all existing rules and regulations guiding their conduct as officers and ratings in the Nigerian Navy.

Addressing newsmen, Commodore Muhsin Abba, the incoming Commander of the NNS Delta, said that the personnel would be encouraged to discharge their duties in accordance with the mandates of the Nigerian Navy.

“They should be disciplined, obedient, and loyal, and they should not collaborate with anybody that undermines the economic activities of the country.

“As you know, oil is the mainstay of our economy, and anything that will impede the production of oil within our areas of operations is going to be stopped.

“We will ensure that the mandate is pursued to the best of our ability,” Abba assured.

Highlights of the event were the signing of the handover note, the lowering/hoisting of the pennant, the presentation of the unit flag, and the inauguration of the car park at the base.

In attendance were representatives from the various military and paramilitary agencies, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and others.

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