PERSONNEL of the Nigerian Navy have destroyed over 712 illegal refineries, 900,000 metric tonnes of products suspected to be Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and crude oil in the last seven months in the Niger Delta.
This was disclosed by the outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Abubakar Al-Hassan during the passing out parade organised in his honour in Warri.
The parade organised by the Nigerian Navy was held at the premises of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), DELTA, Warri Naval Base, during the week.
Al-Hassan, it will be recalled, assumed duty on July 17, 2017, at the Central Naval Command.
The Naval Boss said the achievements of the command was due to the commitment and determination of his personnel who ensured that the maritime domain was sanitised from illegal activities in line with the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) directive of 2015.
According to him, “Over 100 wooden boats and power driven boats engaged in illegalities in the creeks were either seized or destroyed.
“Part of these successes were attained through patrols at sea and within the backwaters as well as the conduct of exercises and operations such as OCTOPUSGRIP.
“The Command also recorded over 25,000 hours of boat patrols within the creeks and waterways between July and January 18, 2018.”
Ah-Hassan noted that the nation’s economic centre of gravity fell within the operational domains of the Nigerian Navy (NN).
This, he said, made the Navy a vital driver, guidance and enabler of the Nigeria economic aspirations.
“In realisation of this, Navy has maintained the constant presence and have deployed enough ships to ensure criminal activities in the maritime domain are stopped,” he said.
While commending the Edo, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa and Kogi state governments for their support in both facilities and logistic towards the Command’s operations and ultimate success, Ah-Hassan thanked the traditional rulers and youth leaders in the Niger Delta for supporting the Nigerian Navy by way of ensuring peace in their various communities.
He urged the personnel to maintain their commitment towards ensuring safety and security of the maritime domain in the Command’s Areas of Responsibility (AoR).
Al-Hassan, who was succeeded by Rear Adm. Saleh Usman as the new FOC, advised the naval personnel to sustain the good fellowship and give maximum support to the incoming FOC for the task ahead.