Mkpoikana Udoma 02 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Activities of criminals involved in crude oil theft and illegal refining of petroleum products have been reduced to the barest minimum, according to the Nigerian Navy, which claims it is winning the war against the illegal activities in the Niger Delta.
The Navy said it had carried out several raids on illegal activities at the creeks, resulting in the reduction in the criminal activities.
Speaking after inspecting facilities at the Port Harcourt Naval Command, Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said: “We are winning the war against oil bunkering and with the support we are getting at the strategic area. We will do more. We have manpower but the resources to carry out our duty are slim.
“It is instructive to note that attacks on shipping have substantially declined since the commencement of Operation Tsare Teku, relative to what obtained between January and April 2016.”
Ibas revealed that the Navy was doings its best to improve further on the welfare of its men.
The CNS had flagged off Operation Tsare Teku III, on Nigerian Navy Ship Okpabana and warned pirates operating on Nigerian waterways to desist from every criminality within the nation’s maritime domain.
Ibas disclosed that the operation was to sustain the gains the Navy had already made in the area of providing adequate security on economic activities on the waterways in the first and second phases of Tsare Teku.
He further stated: “Operation Tsare Teku was conceived to stem the rising wave of attacks on shipping and other criminalities within Nigeria’s maritime domain, particularly in the offshore area where the Nigerian Navy has primary responsibility to protect economic activities and prevent unlawful acts.
“In order to sustain the gains of Operation Tsare Teku II, for optimum performance and benefits, it has become imperative to extend the operation by another three months, thus underscoring the essence of the flag off.
“I urge the agitating groups involved in sabotage and other violent acts to embrace dialogue and peaceful option in resolving their concerns and grievances.”
“I urge and all the commanders and commanding officers to remain focused and resilient in the execution of assigned tasks and objectives towards sustaining credible presence at sea.”