The Nigerian Navy on Thursday lauded the new ‘choke points’ strategy used in the fight against oil theft, adding that the effort had saved the country of billions of naira that could have been lost to illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command, Rear Admiral Goddy Anyankpele, identified the new strategy as the deployment of troops at strategic points and routes used by oil thieves to convey stolen crude.
Anyankpele, who spoke on Thursday during the inspection of facilities at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area, explained that the navy had done a lot to put an end to oil theft in the country.
He pointed out that creating choke points within the nation’s coastal areas was aiding the fight against oil theft, maintaining that rather than waste resources chasing oil thieves around, it was better to wait for them at choke points.
He said, “The navy has done a lot and put a lot of work in place to end oil theft. The Federal Government has said so and the oil companies are saying it. The strategy of attacking and establishing choke points is working.
“We know that these illegal bunkerers will follow a particular route. Instead of wasting time and resources and running all over the place looking for them (oil thieves), we wait for them there (choke points) and as soon as they get there, we pick them up.
Disclosing that the Nigerian Navy recently impounded six vessels containing stolen crude oil, Anyankpele stated that the choke point strategy was responsible for the seizure of the vessels.
He added that the effort had reduced the level of oil theft and sabotage to the nation’s economy by illegal bunkerers and pipeline vandals.
He said the choke point tactic had led to more seizure of vessels in the past and reduced the capacity and capability of oil thieves to continually sabotage the nation’s economy in the maritime environment.
“If you go to the Nigerian Navy Engineering College in Sapele, there are now six vessels loaded with stolen crude oil that were arrested a few days ago. A lot of vessels have been arrested through this strategy. So, the navy is doing a lot
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