by crossriverwatch admin
Forty vessels used for oil theft and other illegal activities in the Calabar water channel have been arrested by officers of the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy Calabar.
Admiral J .O Aikhomu, the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy confirmed the arrest of the vessels in the Calabar water channel as well as other Nigerian coastline, maintaining that the Navy is poised to dominate the entire Gulf of Guinea and eliminate the activities of oil thieves and sea pirates.
Aikhomu who is also the president of the first Gulf of Guinea Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Conference (RMAC) billed to be hosted by Nigeria in Calabar from July 29 to 31, said that the Navy has since increased its operations, especially in the area of surveillance and that the effort has started yielding tangible results.
The Commanding Officer who made the revelation on Thursday in his office in Calabar said though there are numerous threats in the Gulf of Guinea that can adversely impact against national interest especially the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, yet the Navy is committed to ensuring that the maritime domain of the nation is kept safe against sea-based crimes, including piracy, crude oil theft and illegal bunkering.
“The Nigerian Navy is taking the lead in increasing existing regional maritime awareness capability in order to improve total awareness of the maritime environment.”
He said as a result of increasing threats in the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigeria Navy in collaboration with the United States Office of National Security Cooperation (OSC), Nigeria took the bull by the horn to organize the first regional security conference with the objective of bringing to the fore the necessity of improving maritime domain awareness and need for member-states to collaborate in terms of gathering and sharing information.
He said the Nigeria Navy was expecting top naval delegations from 13 countries, including United States African Command and the US Naval Forces Africa who are to hold a three-day maritime security conference.
African countries that will participate include Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Benin Republic, Senegal, Togo, Cameroun and Sao Tome and Principe.
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