The Nigerian Navy has reeled out its achievements, especially in securing the nation’s territorial waters and contributions to the country’s economic growth in the last one year.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas, gave navy the pass mark in securing the nation’s maritime domain during his annual inspection of facilities and command in Lagos area.
According to the CNS, sea piracy has reduced drastically while most illegal refineries have been destroyed.
“The navy has shut down most of the illegal refineries and we have been able to bottle up activities of criminals and prevent them from going to sea.
“We have also got most of the boats they use out there; boats with 200 horse power engines and above through the support of our regulatory bodies.
“So, the navy is still on their trail to ensure they do not go out,” he said.
Ibas also noted that the volume of trade through Nigeria’s waters had increased, attributing it to enhanced security.
“So far, I think the results are there to speak for themselves. We have been able to considerably bring down cases of piracy in our waters,” he said.
Ibas said that the exports and imports of goods in Nigeria had increased, adding that this could be noticed in the volume of trade that is taking place.
“We are also rated a secure fishing environment and we are having more fishing activities taking place.
“So, this and all others are the positive impacts our operation have done for the nation’s economy,” he said.
When asked what the navy was doing to contain the menace of sea robbery, Ibas said choke points had been provided for the over five thousand back water channels.
He added that the service had also enhanced its surveillance technology.
He said that criminals, whose source of funds had been blocked, were the ones venturing into sea robbery.
“Occasionally, you have robbery incidents that occur on land and when you pursue these guys, they find the sea, especially the back waters, available for their illegal operations.
“Besides, the navy does not have access to most of these back waters because they are not navigable; that is why we adopted the choke point system,” said Ibas.
He said that the annual tour was to appraise the state of readiness of the navy.
“We will continue the same exercise in other commands across the country. Our mandate is to ensure that we provide maritime security and enabling environment for seafarers.
“We have officers and men all over the country so this affords me the opportunity to let them know what is happening and what is expected of them.
“It is also an opportunity to know the challenges they have and to get suggestions on how best the navy can deliver its mandate,” he said.
Present at the event were the Chief of Logistics, Rear Adm. Joseph Oluwole, Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Adm. Ferguson Bobai as well as Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs) Western Naval and Naval Training Commands, Rear Adm. Sylvanus Abbah and Obi Ofodile, respectively.