BY EMMA UNA

CALABAR—THE Nigerian Navy has said that it significantly reduced oil theft, bunkering, piracy and other criminal activities on the country’s territorial waters in the first quarter of the year, in its sustained battle against sea crime.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jubrin, at the end of the Fleet Evaluation Exercise  to mark the 58th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy, at the Bight of Bonny, said  constant training of naval personnel and effective use of boats and ships had greatly improved the morale of the personnel and their fighting capabilities.

He said: “In recent times, we have drastically reduced sea crime on the country’s territorial waters, particularly oil theft, which in January was about  four million barrels, to about one million barrels in April, and we are  not resting in order to ensure that we eliminate the evil practice.”

Jubrin, who was represented by Rear Admiral Duke Osufa, Navy Secretary, said that more fighting capacity of naval personnel will be enhanced through additional training and acquisition of more combat vessels for which order had been placed.

“The objective of this exercise is to assess the capacity and capability of the Nigerian Navy built through training and I am satisfied with what I saw during the exercise and can say that sea criminals and terrorists are in for a hard time.

“In vessel boarding and searching, NNS Special Boat Service, borne on board  NNS Thunder will proceed to specific target ships or platforms, board and search the ship or rig for specific items, make arrests and confiscate documents  where necessary,” he added.

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