Nigeria has lost N163.17bn in oil revenue to the activities of pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region between 2012 and 2017, according to statistics presented by the Nigerian Navy.
The Navy said its operatives destroyed 637 illegal refineries in 2018 in the region to curtail the oil revenue loss as part of efforts under ‘Operation River Sweep.’
It said it also destroyed 274,661 barrels of crude oil, 23,560,255 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in 2017 and 277,040 barrels of crude oil and 212,610 litres of PMS in 2018.
The Navy Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Bee Ibe-Enwo, gave the statistics at the Navy Headquarters in Abuja, on the occasion of the Navy’s 63rd anniversary, noting that the military was working on acquiring more platforms for sea surveillance.
Ibe-Enwo gave the breakdown of the N163.17bn oil revenue loss as follows: 2012, N21.48bn; 2013, N38.88bn; 2014, N44.75bn; 2015, N51.28bn; 2016, N2.67bn and 2017, N4.11bn.
He said, “The Navy carries out surveillance of Nigeria’s maritime space using the Regional and Maritime Awareness Capability and Falcon Eye facilities in addition to the use of vessels and helicopters. The Navy has 24 Maritime Domain Awareness sites located across the coastline in Badagry, Lagos, Igbokoda, Abuja, Formoso, Forcados, Escravos, Brass, Yenagoa, Bonny, Iko, Ibaka, and Calabar.
“The clear warning to criminals is that activities at sea are being observed by high tech surveillance systems from ashore and they will be interdicted promptly”.
“Report estimated the total product losses due to pipeline vandalism at N21.48bn, N38.88bn, N44.75bn and N51.28bn in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. However, in 2016 and 2017, the losses due to pipeline vandalism were N2.67bn and N4.11bn respectively. This marked reduction is largely attributable to the introduction of the Choke Point Regime and Operation River Sweep” he said.
“The Navy also arrested 25 smuggling boats cumulatively laden with 5,500 bags of rice in 2019. The anti-smuggling operations led to the arrest of 197 suspected smugglers operating in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. Accordingly, the arrested smugglers, boats and products were handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service for appropriate action.”
The Navy disclosed that it was working on procuring a 100m Landing Ship Tank by June 2020 and fast interceptor boats, expected to be delivered by November 2019.