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We’ve contained intruding foreign fishing trawlers, says Navy

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The Nigerian Navy through the Forward Operating Base (FORMOSO) in Brass, Bayelsa State at the weekend said it had effectively checked the encroachment of foreign fishing trawlers on Nigerian territorial waters through sustained enlightenment and other diplomatic measures.

Fishermen in the coastal communities, who depend on the activity for their livelihoods, had in the past raised the alarm over the incessant harassment and intimidation from bigger foreign trawlers.

In his remarks at the commissioning of some projects executed by FORMOSO, the Commanding Officer, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, said through proper monitor and arrests, the waterways were now relatively safe for local fishermen

He said: “We have used our awareness capability equipment to monitor them. So far, we are not experiencing that problem again. Each time we go to the sea, we observe that they maintain that separation gap.

“They don’t come near again; and even when we go out, we also ask the fishermen if they are having any conflict with them and they told us that in the last couple of months, they have not had issues with any bigger fishing trawlers.”

Also, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) the Central Naval Command, Real Admiral Garba Shehu, while commissioning the projects disclosed that the Nigerian Navy intends to deploy two patrol boats to check the excesses of crude oil thieves, pirates and other criminals on the high sea.

Among projects commissioned include Officers Mess, Perimeter Fence, Remodeled Gym, Sailors Club, Chief Bossom Mate (CBM) accommodation and the laying of foundation stone for the operating base sports complex.

He added: “We are equally working to get a jetty soon. So, by January 2020, we will have two new patrol boats that will be operating offshore Brass to ensure the security of seafarers and oil and gas infrastructure.”

The naval chief said the force had intensified in recent times the construction of accommodation including offices for the welfare of personnel.

The FOC expressed satisfaction at the level of work, asserting: “I am here for the second time to lay the foundation stone in this unit under the CNC.”

He went on: “I have laid the foundation for the sports complex. As you know, this place is an island. There are no much facilities where we can go and exercise.

“In the military, we lay more premium on physical exercise for mental fitness.

“The foundation I laid today (weekend) will provide a football pitch, volleyball court as well as tennis and basketball courts for the fitness of the personnel.

“Additionally, I have commissioned other projects that are meant to improve the living condition and welfare of the personnel of FOB Formoso.”

“FOB is taken the premium, we want to use this base to show what Forward Operating Base real look like, as the infrastructural development is encouraging.

Speaking after the commissioning, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, said the projects commissioned was executed within seven months.

He said: “we are particularly very pleased by your personal present knowing the premium you place on projects execution.

“The activities going on in the base is a work in progress and it is hope that FOB would be a model in Nigerian Navy, in the next two years if the projects are sustained,” he said.


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