The Nigerian Navy on Monday said it destroyed over 500 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region in 2017, a figure higher than the last two years combined.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, said this after a meeting with the Nigerian Ports Authority delegation, led by the Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.
The naval chief, who signed an agreement with the NPA on the establishment of a Forward Operating Base on Takwa Bay, Lagos State, said illegal refineries impacted negatively on the economy and the environment, adding that the navy would shut down more.
He said, “To curb sea robbery and piracy, we started Operation Tsare Teku. We also provided ships that would escort ships beyond robbery points.
“On the war against illegal refineries, we mounted pressures on criminals. In the last six months, the navy has shut down over 500 refineries. That is a number more than the last two years. We will continue to shut down more illegal refineries.”
The NPA MD, Usman, said the security of the maritime domain was critical to the increased activities at Nigerian ports.