Navy moves against crude oil theft, seizes vessel
The Nigerian Navy has declared war against crude oil theft and insecurity on the Nigerian waterways.
The declaration followed a three-day special amphibious exercise codenamed: “Exercise Sea Guardian”, aimed at tackling all forms of maritime crime in the country.
The joint sea exercise organised by the Central and Eastern Naval Commands around the Agbara Oil Field, with 10 Nigeria Navy warships, two helicopters and a detachment of Special Boat Services was concluded at the weekend.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the exercise, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command (CNC), Rear Admiral Umar Chugali and his counterpart at the Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire, said the exercise will foster synergy between the two Commands with a view of tackling insecurity in the Nigeria maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.
The FOCs described the exercise, which included anti-crude oil theft operation, vessel seizure, gunnex, communications, fleet manoeuvres, man overboard, emergency drills such as; firefighting, steering gear breakdown, machinery failure, abandon ship and man and cheer ship, as a huge success and hitch-free.
They noted that the exercise was not only aimed at providing safety and security in Nigeria’s maritime environment, but it was also targeted to ensure socio-economic activities thrive in the country.
Also, Operations Officer, Central Naval Command, Commodore Haruna Zego told newsmen onboard the NNS Sagbama, that “this exercise will also walk our men from the two commands for the event, and also ensure that illicit activities are curbed within the maritime domain.
“The Nigerian Navy is doing its best to stamp out criminality within the maritime domain and also salvage the nation’s economy by eradicating crude oil theft among other crimes within the maritime space.”
The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Sagbama, Commander Stephen Ebute, said, the Exercise Sea Guardian is impactful, adding that it has groomed officers of the two commands on the task ahead in fighting crime in the maritime domain.
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