By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA—Nigerian Navy, yesterday, said activities of oil thieves in the country cost it N11.08 billion in 2018.

The disclosure came as it said 1952 illegal crude oil refining sites in the Niger Delta were uncovered and subsequently destroyed by its troops in the region.

Oil pipeline

Speaking during Nigerian Navy First Quarter Media Dialogue in Abuja,its Chief of Training and Operations,CTOPS, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri, said the money was lost to maritime crimes,which he noted,included illegal oil refining and theft of other products.

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Kadiri, who noted that illegal refining was a major threat to Nigeria’s maritime environment, disclosed that the activation of Operation Sweep by the service paid off as according to him, “in 2017, a total of 1,315 illegal refining sites were destroyed and in 2018, 637 were destroyed. Another threat to Nigerian maritime environment is illegal refining of crude oil. In response to this, in 2016, the Nigerian Navy activated what we call Operation River Sweep which is aimed at combating crude oil theft and illegal refining activities.

“In 2017,a total of 1,315 illegal refining sites were destroyed and in 2018,only 637 only were destroyed, “he said.

The Navy, according to Kadiri, also lost of 277, 040 barrels of crude oil, 23.1 million litres of AGO, 212, 610 litres of PMS, and 1. 2 million litres of DPK to vandals and oil thieves.

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