The Nigerian Navy has floated a new military exercise codenamed “Operation Tsare Teku IV” in furtherance of its determination to make the Nation’s waterways safer.
Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Ibok-Ete Ibas, during the flag-off of the operation reiterated that the Nigerian Navy remain dedicated to fighting criminal activities in the country’s maritime domain.
He added that the adverse effect of the activities of illegal oil refiners and sea pirates was of great concern to the Navy, hence the series of operations.
Ibas who was represented at the event by Chief of Training and Operation, Naval Headquarters, Adeniyi Osinowo, said that “the operation is dedicated to our waterways of criminal activities, particularly pirates and sea robbers and those who intend to impact negatively on the nation’soil and gas infrastructure.”
“What is really of concern to the Navy is that the agitation of some of the militant groups has been in one way or the other detrimental to the image of the nation,” he said.
Osinowo pointed out that illegal refining of crude oil causes environmental pollution.
“Converting crude oil into other products and by-products has continued to significantly degrade our environment.”
He called on the media and other relevant bodies to continue to make the people aware of the environmental and health hazards that are associated with pipeline vandalism.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Mohammed Garba, the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, noted that the series of operations being carried out by the Navy was yielding desired results as more than 70 illegal refineries have been destroyed in Bayelsa and Delta States.
“Statistics at our disposal shows that there is reduction in occurrences of piracy, sea robbery and other forms of crime in the waterways.
“To those who are bent on perpetrating maritime crime, it is no longer business as usual,” he said.
The Navy had in late 2016 launched `Operation Eagle Eyes’ and later`Operation River Sweep’ in Warri, Delta State.