Fubara issues fresh directive to Navy on oil bunkering

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has urged the Nigerian Navy to be ruthless against all forms of economic sabotage, especially crude oil theft.

Fubara gave the charge when he hosted the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday, April 25.

“We are working together, we will give you all the support to make sure that you deliver on your mandate. And what is the mandate? You were appointed at a time when our country is facing a lot of crises, and your duty, among others, include to reduce, if it cannot be eliminated completely, the criminalities perpetrated on the waterways; oil theft and others,” Fubara said.

“And I am happy there are positive and commendable records of achievement so far, in the course of your tenure.

“The success of the Navy in our state, in the areas of oil theft, is because the state government has given you all the necessary support. We have collaborated with the command here. We supported them morally, and with all the necessary logistics.

“We have also maintained good relationship with the communities to make sure that whatever it is that is required for these operations to be successful were granted. I am happy to be associated with these very laudable achievements.

“So, I am happy that the Chief of Naval Staff is commending the success of the exercise. He is commending the doggedness of the men in fighting oil theft, not just in the Niger Delta, but particularly in our state.

“I assure you that we will continue to give them the support, and discourage any act that would be a sabotage to the economy of our state,” he added.

Vice-Admiral Ogalla noted that the Navy and Rivers were like conjoined twins who could not do without each other.

He said the Navy needed collaboration on various aspects of its activities, ranging from training, operations, logistics, and that Rivers remained key to its performance.

“My purpose of coming here today are in three folds. The first is to inform His Excellency that on Saturday, we are graduating a set of former civilians who have been trained at our Basic Training School, Onne, and are graduating to join the ranks of the Nigerian Navy as ratings in order to beef up our strength.

“The second is to appreciate the Governor and government for the schools they donated to us: the Ambassador Nne Krukrubo Model Secondary School at Eleme and the Model Secondary School, Egbelu in Oyigbo Local Government Area.

“We also want to use this opportunity to inform His Excellency that following that donation, and based on our strategic plan of moving our facilities to areas where we have enough space to perform out duties, we have renovated the school at Eleme. We are happy to report, today, that the erstwhile location of Headquarters of Naval Training Command, Lagos, is moving to that particular school location in Eleme, tomorrow,” he said.

Speaking on the operational successes recorded by the Navy, Ogalla said his men had impounded 14 vessels conveying stolen crude oil and arrested many individuals.

He added: “With the “Operation Delta Sanity” launched in January 2024, we have been very successful and, within the period, we have recorded tremendous successes and achievements.

“Over 14 large crude carrying vessels have been impounded within that period. Most of them are at various levels of investigation. We have also arrested several barges and other companies and organisations involved in oil theft.

“As a result of the operations, we are happy to report that there have been tremendous improvement in terms of security in the maritime environment.”

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