The duty of security agencies in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised, especially with the Nigerian Navy whose duty is to secure the waterways. The waterways are the route that takes care of all the oil and gas transactions especially outside the country. The ceremonial sunset was used to send forth and honour some personnel of the command like Lieutenant Commander O.J Edeyemi while Commodore Iheanacho, who retired was also sent forth. That is why the security of the route by the Nigerian Navy cannot be overlooked as they make sure that oil theft, pipeline vandalism and all forms of criminality in the waterways are curtailed if not totally eradicated.
To this end, the Central Naval Command (CNC) of the Nigerian Navy has been up and doing and has not reneged in their job. There were so many achievements recorded by the CNC in 2021 the reason why the chief of naval staff came personally to the command to celebrate them and commission some of the projects done by the present flag officer commanding rear admiral Obinwanne Egbuchulam.
At the inauguration ceremony recently in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, commended the men for their resilience but advised all her personnel to be of good conduct. The CNS warned all that any personnel found culpable of economic sabotage will be brought to book and used as an example for others to learn.
He said: “I have just briefed the FOC of the Naval and the Defence Headquarters of making sure that any personnel that is found culpable in the perpetration of economic sabotage of our country should be brought to book and be used as an example.”
The Chief of Naval Staff however commissioned the mast island, the regulating office and other projects. Also on December 6, 2021, the command arrested a vessel carrying stolen crude with about twentytwo suspected oil thieves onboard MT TIS IV at the Akassa River. Speaking to journalists at the vessel, Commodore Patrick Effah, the Commander of NNS Soroh, who led journalists to the seized vessel, said following the arrest, the vessel was found to be carrying about 700,000 litres which are about 603 metric tons or 4,402 barrels of illegally sourced crude oil worth about $315,500 (N148, 281,000) without the requisite approval for such cargo.
He said the Navy went further to identify the source of the stolen crude and was led to the spot where about 4 dug out pits containing an unspecified quantity of crude oil was discovered which is much more than what was found on the vessel. Effah added: “The discovered storage pit has been reported to relevant Oil and Gas Company for evacuation.
“The arrest is one of the numerous successes recorded by the Nigerian navy in its ongoing operation QUITE WATERS aimed at dominating Nigeria’s maritime environment towards creating deterrence in order to create a secure maritime environment for economic activities to strive.
“I must add that the arrest of MT TIS IV is one of a series of arrests recently made by the Nigerian navy. Accordingly, let me seize this opportunity to warn miscreants and intending economic saboteurs to desist from acts of criminality as they have no hiding place and will be caught.” The drive, he said,can be justified by the recently commissioned vessels by the president and commander in chief of the armed forces. He added that some of the newly commissioned naval vessels and other vessels were at sea patrolling the nation’s exclusive economic zone including the chief of naval staff. NNS SOROH, the Commander disclosed, had been relentless in identifying and arresting perpetrators of crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and other maritime crimes.
He noted: “Note that the maritime domain awareness facilities of the Nigerian navy was well equipped to detect and flag vessels engaged in all forms of maritime crimes within Nigerian waters and beyond. “Let me reiterate that the Nigerian navy remains unwavering in its drive to curb all forms of criminalities within Nigeria’s maritime environment. “All were, however, preceded with the 2021 sunset at the Central Naval Command where the Flag Officer Commanding commended the untiring efforts of the personnel of the command for drastically curtailing maritime crimes and illegalities in their area of responsibility.”
At the ceremonial sunset celebration which took place on the command on December 17, 2021, the FOC disclosed that the personnel have been resolute in doing their job despite sometimes coming at a high cost such as severe injuries and even death. Disclosing that the command had lost some fine officers and ratings in the line of duties to the country leaving behind widows and orphans, he said that they were however not deterred in the pursuit of their strategic ends.
While maintaining that the Command remains committed to the wellbeing of families of their fallen colleagues, Rear Admiral Egbuchulam stated that it was necessary to emphasize that the central naval command in its quest to secure the Nigeria maritime domain particularly the command’s area of responsibility has been maintained. The FOC statement was premised on the fact that the nation’s economic survival is heavily dependent on seaborn corners as well as the oil and gas resources in the maritime domain. He said: “Accordingly the Command continues in his strive to execute its assigned mandate in line with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff.
“The untiring efforts of the personnel of the Command operating in concert with sister services and agencies have drastically curtailed maritime crimes and illegalities in our area of responsibility. “Our efforts and successes we should admit have sometimes come at a high cost such as severe injuries and even death. We have lost some fine officers and ratings in the line of duties to the country leaving behind widows and orphans. “We are, however, not deterred in the pursuit of our strategic ends while we remain committed to the wellbeing of families of our fallen colleagues.
“My appreciation goes to the Chief of Naval Staff for his continued support to the Central Naval Command most importantly I wish to register our unalloyed support to the President Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. “Your presence here today gives projus great hope and encouragement to pre double our effort towards our collective quest to ensure that the central naval command’s area of responsibility becomes a truly safe, secured and prosperous part of Nigeria in order to truly reflect the overall aspiration of the Nigerian Navy.
“The ceremonial sunset has been a unique naval custom globally and of course in the Nigerian navy, it is a period to reflect on the contributions of Nigerian navy servicemen to the corporate existence and progress of our fatherland. “Earlier today the Chief of Naval Staff was in this command to witness some modest achievements and commission projects. It is necessary to emphasize that the Central Naval Command in its resolute in the quest to secure the Nigeria maritime domain particularly our area of responsibility is our major watchword.
“This is premised on the fact that the nation’s economic survival is heavily dependent on seaborn corners as well as the oil and gas resources in the maritime domain. “I thank the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his unquantifiable support to the Nigerian navy. I also thank the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral A Z Gambo for his inspiring leadership and uncommon poise to take the Nigerian Navy to enviable heights.”