Abuja—Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba, yesterday said the Nigerian Navy destroyed 1,556 illegal oil refineries and arrested 1,646 suspects in 2013.
Ezeoba disclosed this at the launch of the Chief of Naval Staff Strategic Guidance, SG, 02 in Abuja, yesterday.
He said: ’’The Nigerian Navy destroyed 1,556 illegal oil refineries, 103 barges, 69,606 auxiliary equipment and 1,443 large wooden boats.’Between October 2012 and September 2013, more than 1,646 suspects were arrested and handed over to either the Nigeria Police Force, EFCC or the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for trial.”
He said the incidence of piracy had been reduced considerably.“For instance, between January and September 2013, the Nigerian Navy received 91 alerts of
suspected sea robbery and piracy within Nigeria’s maritime space,” he added.
According to Ezeoba, the Nigerian Navy responded to 64 cases of sea robbery and is currently investigating 22 of the remaining cases.The chief of naval staff also said the two hijacked vessels, MV Crow and MT Norte, with 17,000 metric tonnes of gasoline, were successfully rescued by the Navy.
“Currently, two offshore patrol vessels are under construction, one to be fully built in China and the other to be completed in the Naval Shipyard Limited, Port Harcourt,” he added.
Ezeoba also said the Navy had acquired a U.S. Coast Guard Ship, USCGC Gallatin which is expected to sail into the country by the second quarter of 2014.
“Following the achievement of the aforementioned milestone, which was the essence of my SG 01, it has now become necessary to issue my SG 02,” he said.
Accordingly, the Chief of Naval Staff, SG 02 was duly promulgated on Nov. 1, 2013, to ensure that the directives contained therein are carried out.