By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna
The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment towards combating crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalization, piracy among other transnational crimes on Nigeria’s waterways.
Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ebok Ekwe Ibas said this when the House of Representatives Committee on Defence paid an oversight visit to the Naval headquarters Abuja, adding that some of the successes recorded by the Navy during the 2017 fiscal year include arrest of 22 ships, 71 tanker trucks, 2,512 arms and 1,822 illegal refineries, 151 speed boats, 577 wooden boats and have confiscated 58 vehicles.
He said between 2016 to 2017, the Nigerian Navy achieved 50 per cent in all its activities including reported pirates attacks which was reduced from 76 in 2016 down to 34 in 2017.
The Chief of Naval Staff, noted that the improved security environment provided by the Nigerian Navy was largely instrumental to the improvement of crude oil and condensate production from total production of 47.2 million barrels in August 2016 to 61.8 million barrels in August 2017.
According to him, crimes on the maritime environment are transnational in nature and for the Nigerian Navy it is technical in nature, it requires adequate funding to be able to sustain its fleets and get adequate funding to accomplish our objectives.
Speaking at the event, the chairman, committee on Navy, Honourable Abdusamad Dasuki, said that maritime trade accounts for almost 90 percent of global trade and contributes immensely to revenue and employment generation, tourism promotion, international relations, bilateral trade as well as defence and security.
According to him, the maritime sector also provided the necessary financial support that steered the Nigerian economy out of recession, hence the need to improve on the funding of the sector despite the myriad of financial challenges.