Navy Partners India On Maritime Security

navyThe Nigerian Navy has reached an agreement with the Indian Navy to develop manned and unmanned vessels with a view to enhancing security on the Gulf of Guinea.

The Chief of Policy and Planning for the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said that the partnership is a fallout of a two-day partnership meeting with the Indian Navy on personnel training for the Nigerian Navy.

According to him, the new relationship will also help to enhance aerial surveillance of the coast of Guinea.

Okowa Condemns Crude Oil Theft, Tasks Navy On Control

Okowa Condemns Maritime Security Threats, Challenges NavyDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has criticised the activities of persons involved in crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism in Nigeria.

Speaking at the 2015 Nigerian Navy retreat in Asaba, the Delta State’s capital, Governor Okowa said their actions indicated a grave danger for the nation’s economy.

He said the activities of crude oil thieves also posed serious threats to the ecology of the Niger-Delta region and the family economy of those who depended on fisheries for their livelihood and sustenance.

The former lawmaker decried that Delta State had continued to lose huge revenues to oil thieves and pipeline vandals with severe consequences on the depleted resources of the state.

In his speech, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, urged senior officers and ratings of the Navy to be alive to their responsibility at all times.

Although, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, admitted the challenges being faced by the Navy, he expressed optimism that his men would surmount the challenges as they arise.

The Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, also said the two day retreat would among other areas, examine the emerging maritime security challenges and the Navy’s approach to solving them, attitudinal change and discipline of personnel as well as the inter-agency cooperation among the nation’s security forces.

Navy Moves To Combat Maritime Challenges

Nigerian navyThe Nigerian Navy says new strategies have been put in place to combat the challenges of local and international crude oil theft, drug trafficking, gun running, illegal migration and terrorism.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, ahead of the 2015 Nigerian Navy Retreat, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the Nigerian maritime environment and the entire Gulf of Guinea region were witnessing complex security challenges.

He reaffirmed the Navy’s resolve to tackle the contemporary and emerging security challenges bedeviling the nation.

On Friday, the Navy arrested 11 crew members of a vessel, MT Camille, laden with about 4,000 metric tonnes of suspected stolen crude oil at Forcados in Delta State.

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has also reiterated its commitment to increasing security on Nigeria’s water, to put an end to crime in the nation’s territorial boundaries.

To deepen efforts to end maritime challenges, the Navy has also entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Customs Service in the area of maritime security and exchange of information that will help in improving Nigeria’s economy.

Nigerian Navy Arrests over 84 Vessels In 17 Months

nigerian navyThe Nigerian Navy says its operations in the last 17 months have led to the arrest of over 84 vessels and their crew for alleged involvement in Maritime related crimes.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, ahead of the 59 Anniversary of the Navy, the Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the Navy had also destroyed over 120 illegal oil refineries, 29 barges, 93 large wooden boats and 1,259 auxiliary equipment within the last one year.

The Navy, however, decried lack of diligent prosecution of suspects by Prosecuting Agencies, saying it has become a major challenge to the force and other security agencies operating in the oil-rich nation’s waters.

In January, the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, decried the inability of the Nigerian government to check the daily loss of over 400,000 barrels of oil to theft, a situation he said had led to the loss of about 1.2 Trillion Naira between the month of July 2013 and July 2014.

Naval Boss Parades Suspects Over Oil Theft

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba has paraded some alleged oil thieves caught during a patrol conducted in Nembe and Formoso riverine communities of Bayelsa State.

During a visit to the operational sites based in the two communities, Vice Admiral Ezeoba led an ambush on boats used for illegal oil operations alongside the persons found on them.

The CNS who was accompanied by the Head Commandant of the JTF, Major General Batta Debiro, said that for the Navy to achieve its objectives which include monitoring and reducing the scourge of pipeline vandalism, oil companies would also have to stop being lax and be alive to their responsibilities.

The flag officer commanding the Central Naval Command in Yenagoa, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin said the Nigerian Navy has put in place measures to put an end to oil theft in the area.


Belgian ship arrested for oil theft in Bayelsa

The Nigerian Navy has confirmed the arrest of a Belgian ship, MT St Vanessa and her 15 member crew for alleged oil theft in Bayelsa.

The navy said the ship was arrested off the Brass/Akassa coast in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

Parading the crew members before journalists in Yenagoa, the Flag Officer, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the vessel had 15 crew members on board.

Rear Admiral Olutoyin said the crew comprising six Romanians and nine Philippines, was intercepted on Tuesday by men of NNS Zaria (a naval ship) stationed at Brass.

He said between June 5 and June 18, the command’s Regional Maritime Domain Awareness Centres (RMAC) at the coastline, spotted the vessel loitering aimlessly off the Akassa/Brass area, notorious for illegal bunkering and crude oil theft.

“The MT St Vanessa, was reported to have departed Lome Port in June 5  and arrived at Akassa area on June 6 without any authority from Nigerian Ports Authority,  NIMASA or the Nigerian Navy, to enable it operate on the Nigerian territorial waters.”

Olutoyin said that “for about 10 days, the vessel kept moving between a location of 100 nautical miles off Brass/Akassa to another location about 10 nautical miles off Brass/Akassa.

“The vessel moves towards Brass/Akassa in the night and moves back into the deep ocean in the hours of the day as indicated on the RMAC print out attached.

“Consequent upon these observations, the vessel was deemed as a vessel of interest and a naval ship, NNS Zaria, was dispatched to intercept and arrest her.

“On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at about 1520, NNS ZARIA intercepted the vessel and interrogated her. As the vessel could not give any reason for her suspicious movement in our waters, the naval ship intimated her she was under arrest.”

According to the naval officer, the Belgian ship tried to escape arrest but the Nigerian naval ship caught up with it. “MT St Vanessa blatantly refused the arrest and instead decided to speed off. NNS ZARIA commenced a hot pursuit and after about three hours, was eventually able to effect the arrest of the vessel” Rear Admiral Olutoyin.

“The vessel was subsequently made to anchor off Brass from where she was escorted by NNS Thunder to Bonny anchorage for further investigation” he added.

Preliminary investigation by the naval authority confirmed that MT St Vanessa was directed by her owners to roam about the waters off Akassa without clear details of the specific task to perform therein, an indication the vessel was preparing to engage in illegal activities.

Rear Admiral Olutoyin noted that in line with the Federal Government directives for crude oil theft to be stamped out of the nation’s waters, the Nigerian Navy will continue to maintain zero tolerance to all such activities in the nation’s maritime domain.

He advised vessels without proper clearance and documentation for their operations or activities in the Nigerian territorial waters to stay away or risk being impounded and handed over to the appropriate agencies for prosecution.

He also urged foreigners not to be lured into crude oil theft business in their own interest and reassured those willing to engage in legitimate businesses of their security.

This is the first major breakthrough the Central Naval Command has recorded since its establishment in Bayelsa state early in the year.