Fubara Seeks Tougher Action Against Oil Thieves

Governor Fubara emphasised the need to prevent anyone from undermining the state's economy during this crucial period.

A worker pours crude oil into a locally made burner using a funnel at an illegal oil refinery in Bayelsa State. (PHOTO/Akintunde Akinleye)


Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has pledged full support of his administration to the Nigeria Navy in intensifying the fight against oil theft in the state.

Governor Fubara emphasised the need to prevent anyone from undermining the state’s economy during this crucial period.

He stated this while hosting the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and other senior navy officials during their courtesy visit to the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

The Chief of Naval Staff during the visit informed Fubara of the Navy’s decision to move the headquarters of its training command from Lagos to Rivers State.

Governor Fubara expressed confidence that the visit by the Naval Chief would help change the negative narrative associated with the state.

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He commended the Navy’s achievements in combating crude oil theft and assured continued moral and logistics support from the state government.

Appreciating the Navy’s decision to relocate the training command headquarters to Rivers State, Governor Fubara encouraged the Navy to transfer more facilities to the state, highlighting the strategic advantage of its riverine terrain.

He urged the naval chief to step up efforts to curb waterway crimes, emphasizing the navy’s vital role during national crises.

Governor Fubara reaffirmed his dedication to protecting the interests and safety of the state’s residents and ensuring the provision of essential services, despite the ongoing political unrest. He stressed that genuine development is only possible in a peaceful environment.

Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla disclosed that the headquarters of the training command would be situated at the Ambassador Nne Furo Kurubo Model Secondary School in Eleme, a facility donated by the state government. He said the relocation is set to take effect tomorrow, Friday.

He also announced that the Naval Training College in Onne, also in Eleme LGA of Rivers State, would be relocated to the new facility.

Seizing the opportunity, the Naval Chief updated Governor Fubara on the successful naval operations in the state. He mentioned that following the President’s directive in January, the Navy and other security agencies had intensified efforts against oil bunkering, resulting in the relaunch of Operation Delta Sanity.

Rear Admiral Ogalla reported that since January, the operation has led to the arrest of over 14 large crude-carrying vessels and many suspected crude oil thieves.

He further noted that multinational companies have recognized the Navy’s efforts, leading to improvement in crude transportation through underground pipelines.