Navy launches operation to avert threats on oil facilities

The Central Naval Command (CNC) has initiated moves to avert threats by restive youths in the Niger Delta region especially in Delta State to attack oil facilities and other maritime infrastructures.

As part of measures to tackle the development, the CNC at the weekend flagged off a 90-day maritime operation codenamed Operation Doubeni II.

A statement signed by the command’s Information Officer, Blessed Nuhu said the operation was designed to curb criminal maritime activities within the CNC Area of Responsibility (AOR) to make the area crime-free for economic exploratory activities for enhanced national development.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) CNC, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, was quoted as saying that the operation was to consolidate on the impressive achievements recorded by the navy during the conduct of Operation Calm Waters activated in May 2019 to deter planned agitations within and around Nigerian’s maritime environment.

Garba said the Operation Calm Waters to a large extent contributed to the reduction in reported incidents of sea robbery, piracy, illegal bunkering, smuggling, illegal refinery and other maritime crimes within Nigerian waters.

He said within the period of the operation, the navy recorded 27,918 hours of sea patrol, which resulted in the arrest of 31 vessels and 357 persons suspected to be engaged in maritime illegalities.

The FOC added that the naval bases cumulatively neutralised 186 illegal refineries with 2,036 metal tanks and ovens, seizing a total of 23,102,900 litres of illegally sourced products.

He said: “Notwithstanding the efforts made by the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies at tackling the numerous security challenges prevalent in Nigeria, palpable threats still persist particularly in Nigeria’s maritime domain with threats to attack critical maritime infrastructure, both ashore and offshore, hence the need for the Command to launch Operation Doubeni II.

“The operation of this nature is critical towards sustaining the resources and huge potential of our dear nation which sadly is undermined by domestic and sometimes cross-border threats.

“The situation calls for measures to bring sanity to the nation’s maritime domain, he said. The FOC therefore urged all the participating ships and platforms of the CNC to be alert to their responsibilities and put in their best in other to maximise the opportunity and consolidate the gains achieved towards securing Nigeria’s maritime domain.”

The FOC noted that within the limits of available resources, CNC had been focused and proactive in combating the myriads of threats and illegal activities in Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He said that the protection of resources and economic activities in the nation remained a collective responsibility of all stakeholders in the region and called for the cooperation of and support of all maritime security stakeholders and the civil populace in confronting threats to the nation’s common interest.

The Fleet Commander, Central Fleet and Officer in Tactical Command of the Operation, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Beckley was also quoted as saying that the operation would involve the deployment of all the available ships, helicopters and other platforms under the Command.

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