The Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation PULO SHIELD, and other security agencies, have arrested over 84 vessels and their crew from January 2014 to date.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman Jibrin, said this yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the activities lined up for the 59th Anniversary celebration of the Navy.
Represented by Rear Adm. Johnson Olutoyin, Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Navy, Jibrin said the arrested vessels were involved in maritime related crimes.
He said over 120 illegal oil refineries; 29 barges; 93 large wooden boats and 1, 259 auxiliary equipment were destroyed within the period.
“It is worth stating that the arrested vessels, on which preliminary investigations have been completed by the Navy, have been handed over to the appropriate agencies for prosecution.
“Thus, there has been a significant reduction in incidences of crude oil theft in our waters.
“Unfortunately, the diligent and conclusive prosecution of suspects in law courts by the prosecuting agencies has been a major challenge to the Navy and other security agencies operating in our waters.
“Additionally, incidences of piracy in Nigeria’s waters have been drastically reduced as a result of the Navy’s anti-piracy operations.
Jubrin said the navy had also made tremendous achievements in areas of policing operations, fleet recapitalisation and exercises /operations, amongst others.
The naval chief also said the Navy had noted with concern the increasing cases of impersonation of its personnel.
He said a number of unscrupulous persons in the society had been caught recently disguising themselves as naval personnel.
According to him, the suspects were using dresses which resemble the naval uniform .
“Accordingly, the Navy has taken drastic measures to checkmate the activities of such impersonators and will leave no stone unturned in arresting and prosecuting any person impersonating as naval personnel.
Jubrin said activities of the Navy Week 2015 would take place from May 20 to June 1 , during which there would be a special Juma’at Service in all commands on May 22.
He said this would be followed by an Inter-denominational Church services in all commands on May 24.
The chief of naval staff also said that on May 25, there would be a Medical outreach programme in all navy’s host communities.
He said in Abuja Area, the Medical Rhapsody would be conducted in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.
“Simultaneously, the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) will also be holding its philanthropic engagement activities in Abuja.
“From May 27 to May 28, the Nigerian Navy Ships will be opened to visitors; there will also be a naval exhibition in all the three Operational Commands.
“Members of the public will on May 28 be taken on sea trip to have a bit of experience of life at sea.
Jubrin said the Navy Week would then be rounded off with a ceremonial sunset and cocktail party at the Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT Parade Ground, Naval Base Apapa, on June 1 , 2015.
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