₦95bn Stolen Crude Seized By Navy In 10 Months – Commander

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has disclosed that its operations conducted from April 2023 to February 2024 have contributed to saving the nation a substantial ₦95 billion.

Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire revealed this information in Calabar on Monday during a parade commemorating the conclusion of his tenure as the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command.

Since President Bola Tinubu issued an ultimatum last year instructing service chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies to tackle oil theft, there has been a surge in the campaign against oil theft activities nationwide.

The Nigerian Army revealed in January that it had eradicated 233 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region and detained 112 individuals suspected of involvement in oil theft over the course of 2023.

On February 11, 2014, the Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft intercepted a motor tanker named SAISNIL II, suspected of being involved in crude oil theft in Lagos State.

The outgoing commander said the command undertook several clearances and anti-crude oil theft operations in the backwaters.

Read also: Foreign Collaborators Named In Suspected Oil Theft – Police

He said the efforts led to the arrest of 13 vessels, including 101 suspects engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft, illegal fishing and other maritime illegalities.

He said, ‘The operations equally led to the deactivation of about 315 illegal refining sites and 399 wooden boats.’

‘Furthermore was the seizure of 571,740 barrels of crude oil, 47,250 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil, 1,574 drums of Premium Motor Spirit and 45 metric tons of Dual Purpose Kerosene, translating to over N95bn at the current market value.’

Under his leadership as FOC, there have been noteworthy advancements in infrastructure development across every facet of the command’s bases, units, and establishments.

Among his accomplishments, he mentioned the construction of a 16-room self-contained accommodation for officers at the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, as well as the refurbishment of senior officers’ mess and offices at the forward operating base in Bonny.

Expressing gratitude, the outgoing commander emphasized that the achievements were a result of the commitment and collaboration of the officers, ratings, and civilian workforce within the ENC.

In his appeal, he urged for unwavering support to be extended to Rear Admiral Saheed Akinwande, emphasizing the critical role of unity in ensuring the command’s continued success.

Africa Today News, New York, has reported that Rear Admiral Olusola Oluwagbire assumed the role of Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Eastern Naval Command on April 11, 2023.

Africa Today News, New York

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