The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, has said that that indigenous ship-building efforts of the Nigerian Navy is gaining traction in West Africa, adding that the Navy hopes to launch the building of two attack ships in Turkey by September.
The Naval Chief disclosed this on a National TV programme aired on Monday, noted that over 216 illegal refining sites were deactivated in the last five months.
He said over 41 million litres of diesel equivalent of N27bn were saved as a result of naval operations in the period under review.
“I must put on record that a review of Operation Dakatar Da Barawo in the last five months revealed over 216 illegal refining sites that were deactivated. We have over 2,920 metal storages and over 145 wooden boats that were destroyed during the period under review.
“Of course, in addition, oil thieves were by implication denied 41,308,340 litres which is equivalent to 366 or 60,241 barrels of crude oil. Regarding AGO (Automotive Gas Oil popularly known as diesel), we have 18,747,830 litres of illegally AGO.
“This has prevented over N27bn from getting to undeserving individuals which could be used to support criminals of all kinds in diverse ways. Though we are not yet there but achievement recorded thus far necessitated a review of the outrageous quantities of stolen crude oil.”
Similarly, the naval chief said it was not true that between 20,000 and 200,000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily in Nigeria. According to him, 100,000 barrels of crude is the equivalent of 15.8 million litres of crude oil requiring a five-ton barge to make 3,160 trips to convey to a mother vessel within a day. “Most of these claims are definitely outrageous and unrealistic,” he maintained.
He also confirmed the arrest of super ships loading oil within Nigeria’s space without license, saying such ships will be prosecuted by the Federal Government through the AGF office, noting that intelligence is vital to fighting terrorism and maritime crimes.