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MILITANTS BOMBING, ATTACKS ON OIL & GAS PLATFORMS NOT CAUSED BY DELAY IN REVIEW OF ‘MOU’ WITH NIMASA-Navy.

MILITANTS BOMBING, ATTACKS ON OIL & GAS PLATFORMS NOT CAUSED BY DELAY IN REVIEW OF ‘MOU’ WITH NIMASA-Navy.

The Nigerian Navy said yesterday that the recent increase in the bombing and destruction of oil, gas and pipeline platforms in the Niger Delta which has led to shut down or disruption of supply and distribution, has nothing to do the ongoing review of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) existing between it and NIMASA.

Rather, the Navy said “We are all witnesses to other social activities that have culminated to the challenges we are witnessing. Also intelligence available to us that we would not be able to divulge publicly especially at this time since we are still mounting operations attest to the fact that there are other far reaching reasons behind what we are witnessing”.

Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Jacob Adekunle Ajani who made the disclosure at a briefing to herald the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the force, noted that ‘Operation Share Teku’ which was mounted in the Niger Delta, was aimed at checkmating and addressing the challenges.

Recall that Operation Tsare Teku launched on 16 April 2016 has four Ships, NNS Andoni, NNS Okpabana, NNS Kyanwa and NNS Sagbama deployed at sea and has succeeded in stemming attacks in Nigerian waters.

Ajani who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ette Ibas, at the briefing, said “The bombing of pipe lines is a thing of concern but as we know, some are onshore; the holistic approach to solving this problem involves Nigeria Navy. We are also cooperating with sister services and security agencies towards addressing this problem.

“What you cannot take away from the Nigeria Navy is that regarding the issue of piracy at sea, since we mounted Operation Share Teku, it has declined tremendously and that gives credence to the fact that the operation has so far been effective and we are still reinvigorating our activities in that area and I’m sure in no time the story we would here from that aspect will be more of good news”.

Regarding the battle against oil thievery, the COPP said, “From January 2016 to date, the Navy in collaboration with the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield and other security agencies destroyed 118 illegal refineries and 16 barges respectively. Furthermore, 7 wooden Cotonou boats were arrested and 80 were destroyed”.

“Also, 51 speed boats and 368 suspects were arrested in the same period. Navy personnel also impounded 42 outboard engines, 1, 025 drums and 2, 339 jerry cans.

“Additionally, 12 tankers, 27 vehicles, 347 Geepee tanks, 63 pumping machines, 13 generators and 56 surface tanks were confiscated by Navy personnel. Other successes included the recovery of 36 small arms, 120 storage tanks, 17 vessels, 12 welding machines and 16 hoses”.  

 Continuing, Ajani said “One of the major milestones of the Navy’s operation was the rescue of a hijacked vessel, MT Maximus in February by NNS Okpabana”.

“The vessel was hijacked off the coast of Cote D’Ivoire on Feb, 16 but was monitored using the Nigerian Navy’s maritime surveillance system (RMAC) and eventually rescued near Sao Tome and Principe waters. In the course of the rescue, one pirate was killed, while 6 were arrested”.  

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