BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
The Chief of the Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, says Nigerian Navy has taken delivery of a new warship code named “NNS KADA” from the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
Vice Admiral Gambo who made the revelation at the Flag off ceremony of “Operation Dakatar Da Barawo” in collaboration with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at Federal Ocean Terminal Onne, Rivers State, stressed the need to curtail incessant crude oil theft, illegal oil refining and other sundry crimes within Nigerian maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea.
Operation Dakarta Da Barawo which means “stop the thief” in Housa Language will focus attention on dominating Nigerian’s water ways through aggressive and intelligence driven patrols to curtail pipeline vandalism, illegal oil refining as well as prevent conveyance of stolen oil products to other nations through the sea.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo who performed the flag off exercise at Federal Ocean Terminal Onne Rivers State, maintained that Nigerian Navy is determined to end oil theft within Nigerian Maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea, hence the huge investment in the acquisition of platforms including the latest warship, “NNS KADA” from United Arab Emirates, UAE.
The Chief of the Naval Staff who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Suleiman Garba, noted that previous operations were successful leading to the dismantling of forty four illegally refining sites, thirty seven cooking ovens, thirty three storage tanks and recovery of over seven hundred thousand liters of adulterated automotive Gas Oil, AGO, all within Rivers State.
“This initiative became necessary considering the recent reports of massive revenue losses which compelled all efforts to be emplaced to curtail the wanton theft and illegal oil bunkering of crude oil in the nation’s maritime environment.”
“ It is important to state that the Nigerian Navy under my watch remains committed to eradicating all acts of criminality in Nigeria’s maritime domain and by extension, the Gulf of Guinea for the economic wellbeing of our people.”
“Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO will involve dominating the nation’s backwaters through aggressive and intelligence driven patrols.”
It would also be dedicated to monitoring pipelines; block identified strategic estuaries to prevent conveyance of stolen crude oil from inshore to sea and to maintain credible presence along the coastline of areas prone to crude oil theft.”
He emphasized the importance of synergy among stakeholders especially NNPC to facilitate the stoppage of oil theft.
In a remark, the Commander Task Group of the Operation, Rear Admiral Idi Abbas, expressed displeasure that the Nation has lost about three point two billion Dollars to oil theft between January and February this year, a situation which has also contributed to the failure to meet up with the Nation’s OPEC quota.
Rear Admiral Abbas who is also the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, charged sea men to give their best for maximum result during the exercise.
“The code name of the operation aptly captures the essence and the need to robustly deal with the prevailing rise in crude oil theft and illegal refining.”
“The objectives of this reinforce the Nigerian Navy’s resolved to curtail the activities of criminals who have continued to illegally take our common national wealth.”
“Operation Dakatar Da Barawo is aimed at checkmating the rising trend in crude oil theft.”
“The operation seems to bolster the already existing operations and patrols conducted by various commands and bases.”
On his part, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Malan Mele Kyari, represented by the Managing Director, Port Harcourt Refinery, Mr. Ahmed Diko told Newsmen that crude oil theft has caused the nation a lot of revenue loss.
The NNPC boss solicited the assistance of Nigerian Navy for adequate security of oil installations.
The operation which is expected to last for a period of three months will see Nigerian Navy deploy about forty gunships, two hundred gun boats, five helicopters and special operation forces to guarantee sustained air land and sea surveillance during the period.