Navy Deploy 13 Ships, 2 Helicopters, 88 Boats To Battle Crude Oil Theft, Piracy, Other Crimes

Navy Deploy 13 Ships, 2 Helicopters, 88 Boats To Battle Crude Oil Theft, Piracy, Other Crimes

The Minister of State for Defence, Mohammad Bello Matawale, has lauded the Nigerian Navy for varying degrees of success, which according to him, had led to the reduction of maritime crimes, leading to improved economic activities and national developments.

Matawale disclosed this on Saturday at the flag-off of Chief of Naval Staff’s Sea Exercise 2023, code-named “Exercise Nchekwa Oshimiri” meaning protecting the waters’ in Igbo language in Onne, Rivers.

The Minister said the exercise was aimed at ridding the nation’s maritime of crimes in all ramifications, ensure that the ‘’maritime domain is safe for commerce, industry and economic activities for national prosperity.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla in his address said the Nigerian Navy have deplored 13 ships, two helicopters, 88 boats, among others, to battle crude oil theft, piracy, insecurity among other criminal activities in the water ways.

He noted that the exercise was aimed at assessing the operational state and readiness of the Nigerian Navy fleet to counter emerging maritime security threats in line with the constitutional mandate.

He said: “This year’s exercise is particularly relevant, considering the strategic nature of the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria maritime environment and the attendant threats to the enormous resources in the domain .’’

“It is, therefore, necessary that Nigeria builds and improves capacities to secure its maritime environment “

The Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire, disclosed that 4,000 of Naval personnel were to ensure safety of the Nigerian territorial waterways for the exercise.

He said: “This exercise is conducted yearly in operational readiness for the fleet to attain objectives to further project the capacity as well as access its capacity to deal with the ever-evolving security issues that emanate within the nation’s maritime space.

“This year, a total of 13 ships, 88 boats, two helicopters, two special boat services four maritime domain awareness facilities, two support units, four platforms belonging to crucial stakeholders in the maritime sector will be participating in the exercise.
He said the exercise would be carried out in the next four days.

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