The Nigerian Navy has warned oil thieves, sea pirates and pipeline vandals to stay away from the country’s waterways and creeks.
The Flag Officer Commanding Easter Naval Command, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu, gave this warning on Wednesday during his tour of navy formations at the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Aikhomu explained that the Nigerian Navy had stepped up its efforts to curb oil bunkering and other crimes on the nation’s waterways and that the outfit had intensified its 24-hour patrol of the creeks and the nation’s coastal areas.
He said: “Oil bunkering activities perpetrated by criminal elements poses serious challenge to the economy of the nation, which the Navy is seriously tackling. In our bid to ensure the nation’s economic growth, the Navy, among other strategies put in place, patrols the creeks 24 hours daily and we have recorded numerous successes through this step.
“We have so far destroyed several illegal oil refineries, arrested several oil thieves and pipeline vandals; and we will not stop until we rid our maritime domain of criminality and illegalities.”
Aikhomu said the Navy would not take lightly any sabotage of the nation’s economy, promising that the security outfit would continue to fish out criminals within the country’s coastal areas.
He said he was touring the facilities in order to ensure that the strategies put in place by formations’ commanders, facilities and training of officers and ratings were in order.