Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu, on Monday, said the Nigerian Navy (NN) lacked modern vessels to check illegal bunkering in high seas.
Anyanwu spoke while fielding questions from reporters at the National Assembly.
She said the Navy could only effectively combat the problem if it was adequately equipped.
Anyanwu said, “For you to chase people, you need to have the right vessels to give them a chase. We have to be present and dominant every inch of our territorial water and our territorial water is massive, one third of the country’s landmass. It will take a lot of money to equip our Navy.”
She also blamed the increasing oil theft, vandalism and illegal bunkering on some foreign firms in the country.
Anyanwu said that the problem had grown from small men operating with a few canoes to a big and influential cabal aided by the foreign firms.
The shady deal, she added was affecting the effective and full implementation of the country’s budget.
She said: “These whole things are aided and abetted by foreign oil men. When they mock us and talk about corruption, we have to know and tell them that they are part of this illegality.
But the moment we are able to control the source at home, it will dry out the oil that goes into those illegal tankers in the high sea.
“In Niger Delta, you see young men setting up their refineries. I can tell you that a combination of oil theft, bunkering and pipeline vandalism has joined to affect our economy drastically. This is what we see in budget and the inability to implement budget fully because you need to have the money to implement budget fully.”
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