Port Harcourt — President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Nigerian Navy for its role in spearheading the fight against crude oil theft, sea piracy, illegal oil refining and bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
President Buhari, gave the commendation at the passing out parade of 199 cadets of Direct Short Service and Special Duty Courses, where he was the ceremony’s review officer at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, at the weekend.
The President represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, said the Nigerian Navy has acquired more patrol vessels and over 250patrol boats, as well as substantial infrastructural development, a strategy which was yielding good results in the country’s waterways.
He said it was gladdening that the Nigerian Navy was not only assisting in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, but was also leading the fight against sea pirates, crude oil thieves and illegal bunkerers of petroleum products in the Niger Delta.
“Our nation and indeed the entire gulf of Guinea has in the last few years been challenged by asymmetric and emerging security threats emanating from insurgent groups, militants and economic saboteurs, this has warranted critical operational and security engagements of the armed forces of Nigeria across different theatres.
“I am glad to note that in addition to assisting sister services in the North East operations against the Boko Haram insurgents, the Nigerian Navy has continued to spearheading internal security operations in the Niger Delta region against militants, pirates, operators of illegal refineries and crude oil thieves.
“As can be clearly observed, the Nigerian Navy has matched intent with practical steps, evident by the on-going fleet expansion programme that has led to the acquisition of several offshore patrol vessels, seaward defence boats and induction of over 250 patrol boats with substantial infrastructural and manpower development as well as forging of strategic collaborations with regional and more advanced navies.”
President Buhari also charged the newly commissioned officers to be dedicated, selfless and professional in the discharge of their duties especially towards the fight against insecurity in the country.
“To the proud passing out cadets of the Direct Short Service Course 26 and Special Duty Course 19, the past few months must have been challenging given the rigour that training entail; However, today marks the beginning of the service to your fatherland.
“You must not rest on your oars, a lot is expected of you as newly commissioned officers, especially in the light of the contemporary security challenges our nation faces, these challenges call for dedication, selflessness, professionalism and chivalry as I’m sure you discovered during the course of your training.”