Rear Adm. David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, said the force had done a lot to improve maritime security and protection of Nigeria’s natural resources.
Adeniran said this on Thursday in Calabar while addressing members of the Senate Committee on Navy, led by its Chairman, Sen. George Sekibo.
The FOC said that the Nigerian Navy had continued to maintain a steady presence at sea with a view to curb all maritime theft and provide security for maritime operators and oil platforms.
He said that the achievements were made possible through the timely appropriation of the Senate to enhance naval operations at sea.
According to him, the visit by the committee will afford them the opportunity to have first hand information on the ongoing projects embarked upon by the Eastern Naval Command.
“Distinguished Senators, I wish to inform you that the navy has achieved a lot in the area of maritime security.
“The more the maritime corridor is secured, the better for the country and sincerely, there have been an improvement in maritime environment security.
“Evidently, there is a relationship between national economic wellbeing of our dear nation and maritime environment and by extension the Nigerian Navy.
“The Nigerian Navy will continue to solicit for more support from the senate because we know that you will oblige us. The Nigerian Navy is cost effective investment for the economic wellbeing of our dear nation,” he said.
Responding, Sekibo said that the visit was a familiarisation tour by the Committee to assess the ongoing projects executed by the command.
He lauded the Navy for improved maritime security, adding that Nigeria’s major revenue earner was oil, hence the need for effective maritime policing.
“We have seen improvement in maritime security, essentially in policing of the waterways and curbing all illegality at sea.
“The Nigerian Navy has done a lot, but we charge you to do more because we still hear cases of oil theft and others. We will encourage and stand by you as you put more effort to safeguard our critical natural resources.
“Navy personnel will not swim to sea to protect our economic resources. Ours is to stand by you and see how the needed materials and equipment are provided to ease your job,” he said.
Sekibo advocated that the International Oil Companies who benefits mostly from maritime security and surveillance, should be made to pay a token towards the contribution of maritime security and procurement of equipment.