Sea piracy and other criminalities that threaten maritime activities in Niger Delta may be eradicated soon.This followed yesterday’s launch of operation Tsare Teku, in Warri, Delta State by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
The CNS said the task force would rid the nation of pipeline vandalism, armed robbery and other forms of offshore and around-the-waters criminality.He added that the decision to protect shipping, as well as oil and gas installations in Niger Delta was taken at the Naval Headquarters, following a surge in the illegal activities.
Represented by Adeniyi A. Osinowo, he commended the Operation River Sweep squad, which was launched in January 2017 to check the menace.He explained that over 70 illegal refineries and thousands of tons of illegally refined products had been destroyed, while boats and equipment used in pipeline vandalism were seized.
The CNS said: “The maritime environment is critical to national security and development, due to its significant contributions to the exploration and transfer of resources in the support of national interest.”
According to him, trawlers and fishing industries are now having an increase in their harvests due to the improved security.
Meanwhile, the fight against piracy has started paying off as the Navy announced the foiling of attacks on some oil tankers.A statement by the Director of Information, Navy Captain Suleiman Dahun, in Abuja yesterday said the NNS Okpabana and NNS Victory destroyed some illegal refineries and rescued two oil tankers, Mt Gaz Providence and Mt Rio Spirit.