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Navy vows to end piracy, crude oil theft in maritime sector

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Abiola Seun

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Gambo, Wednesday, vowed to stamp out piracy and crude oil theft from the maritime sector as he expressed the commitment of the Navy to the safety of the maritime space.

Gambo, who stated this when he and his delegation paid a courtesy visit on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in Asaba, said legitimate socio-economic activities would thrive as a result of the security that was being provided both on water and land in active collaboration with other sister security agencies.

He said Delta State covers huge national strategic assets in the nation and appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to do more in the provision of facilities in various Naval formations in the state.

The Naval Chief outlined measures in place to stem the tide of piracy to include surveillance, response and maritime law enforcement, stressing that the approach has reduced criminal activities in the maritime space.

Gambo said: “Delta, as a coastal state, has a very long cordial relationship with the Nigerian Navy and of course, with our shared value, it is only apt to use this opportunity to consolidate on the already existing relationship between the Nigerian Navy, the government and the good people of Delta State.

“Delta State covers huge national strategic assets which are partly heart of the nation and therefore, its maritime space must remain safe and secured for economic activities to thrive for our common economic development and prosperity of the good people of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Navy remains resolute to make sure that Delta State and its maritime sector remains secured within our ambit of responsibility to ensure that legitimate socio-economic activities remain unhindered by would-be and existing criminals in the maritime space”.

The Chief of Naval Staff said he was in Delta to familiarise himself with the state and to also, build on the existing cordial relationship between the Delta State Government and the Navy.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his remarks called on the Nigerian Navy to strengthen its operational efficiency in ensuring that piracy and other unwholesome activities were nipped in the bud in the maritime sector of the nation’s economy.

Okowa,who said he was impressed with the operational performance index of Naval personnel in the state, affirmed that with sustained surveillance and peace, Delta as a coastal state would increase its contribution in crude oil production to the national treasury.
He said: “I welcome you to Delta State. I want to thank you also for this visit. There is no doubt that Delta State is a very important coastal state, particularly because, it is a major producer of crude oil in our nation.
“I want to thank the Navy for the effort they have put in consistently in helping to secure our state and even working with other sister security agencies in securing even our lands.
“So, we want to appreciate you for the good work you are doing in the state. We are aware that you work with a lot of our people who assist in the area of intelligence in being able to carry out your various surveillance activities.
“We are also grateful to the officers you have sent to us. They have been quite helpful and committed to their works both on land and in waters”.
Okowa who spoke further assured the Chief of Naval Staff that his administration would continue to assist in making the job of Naval personnel both on land and in water easier through the provision of logistics.
He emphasised that the synergy among various security agencies has yielded positive results, adding that internal roads in the Navy’s Logistics Command, in the state has been captured in the budget.
He affirmed that the request for the upgrade of facilities was being looked into.
On the Admiralty University, Ibusa, the Governor thanked the Navy for bringing the institution to the state, stressing that his administration would contribute towards the growth of the university.
Okowa said: “As for the barracks, we have spoken about it through your officer at the state security council. It is a contract awarded before we came in. I think we are sorting out the issue of re-costing after six years so that the contractor can commence work very soon.
“The internal roads in Logistics Command would be done because there is a provision for it in the budget. The Commissioner for Works in charge of Rural and Riverine has visited the site.
“He has spoken with me recently and I know that the basic engineering measurements are already done. So, I do believe that it would be awarded before the end of this month.
“For the Admiralty University, we want to truly thank the Navy for bringing the University to our state. I will try to liaise with the University authorities to see what we can really do to support them”.

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