OIL THEFT: LOCAL, FOREIGN SYNDICATES SYNERGISE TO DEFRAUD NIGERIA -Navy.
The Nigerian Navy disclosed yesterday that challenges plaguing Nigeria’s maritime environment have become more organized with local and international syndicates combining to wreak havoc in the areas of crude oil theft, drug trafficking as well as terrorism.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas who made the disclosure at a briefing to acquaint the media on the 2015 Nigerian Navy Retreat holding in Asaba from November 30th to December 2nd, said other new challenges in the maritime domain include gun-running, illegal immigration, pressure from climate change, natural disasters and marine pollution.
Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Naval headquarters, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, the CNS noted that, “The challenges in Nigerian maritime environment and the entire Gulf of Guinea region are no longer those of smuggling, piracy, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing and illegal bunkering alone”.
Emphasizing that “These challenges have negative implications for our nations maritime security interests, economy and ultimately national development” the CNS said, “The Nigerian Navy has been making serious efforts towards mitigating these challenges but they keep evolving in different modes and tactics”.
“The good news is that the Navy has also resolved to deal with the challenges appropriately and effectively too. It is this resolve of the Navy that has informed the theme for this year’s retreat as ‘Nigerian Navy and Emerging Maritime Security Challenges”, he said.
Recalling that in the past, the annual Chief of Naval Staff Conference was the forum where appraisal of Nigerian Navy’s performance was examined towards re-assessing processes and procedures used for its operations, the CNS said, “It has been decided this year in place of CONSAC, the Navy will hold a retreat. The objective is to create a forum for robust introspective discussions on the state of the Navy with a view to evolving sustainable strategies for mitigation of identified challenges towards greater operational effectiveness”.