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April 22, 2024
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L-R: The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla; Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, at the Regimental Dinner organised by the Nigerian Navy in honour of its retired senior officers of Flag Rank in Abuja on Friday (23/2/24)

Akpabio hails Navy’s stride in combating crude oil theft

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has lauded the Nigerian Navy over improved security in the maritime environment and increased onslaught against crude oil theft in the country.

Akpabio gave the commendation on Friday at the Regimental Dinner organised by the Nigerian Navy in honour of its retired senior officers of Flag Rank in Abuja.

He commended the efforts of the officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy in curbing crude oil theft.

Akpabio said that the endeavour has reduced illegal bunkering, illegal refining sites, smuggling of goods and narcotics, adding that it has also increased oil production.

He said that the feat was achieved through the tireless efforts of the navy in combatting the nefarious activities undermining Nigeria’s economy.

He, however, challenge the Navy to persevere and redouble its efforts in safeguarding the Nigerian maritime environment.

“The nation looks up to you and expects nothing short of professionalism which you have exhibited thus far.

“Be assured that the National Assembly will support you with all processes needed to succeed,” he said.

The Senate president thanked the retired senior officers for devoting themselves to the defence of the nation, adding that it had been volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

He said their selfless services had left an indelible mark in the Nigerian navy, the armed forces as a whole, and the nation in general.

“Nonetheless, we are assured that you will continue to contribute towards the development of the Nigerian Navy and the country at large.

“My speech will, however, not be complete without remembering your colleagues who lost their lives in the line of maritime operations and the service of our dear country,” he said.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, said that the retired officers had exhibited honour, courage and commitment during their careers.

He said their expertise and experience were also instrumental to shaping the Nigerian navy towards enhanced operational readiness in fulfilment of its mandate.

The CNS gave assurance that the Nigerian navy would remain professional and ethical in fulfilment of national security objectives, adding that the navy had recorded some modest achievements since he assumed command.

“I must add that the Nigerian navy has rejigged her operations particularly by launching Operation DELTA SANITY to curb crude oil theft.

“This has led to the dismantling of several illegal oil refining sites in the Niger Delta region.

“According to Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, crude oil production rose from 1.08 million barrels per day in July 2023 to 1.427 million barrels per day in January 2024.

“This represents an increase of 319,000 barrels within the last six months.

“This is a testament to the positive outcome of the renewed drive by the Nigerian navy towards ensuring that oil contributes optimally to national development,” he said.

Ogalla thanked President Bola Tinubu for his continuous support to the navy and the welfare of the veterans.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Regimental Dinner is part of military tradition aimed at promoting regimentation and honouring deserving officers and men on special occasions.

The event had in attendance the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, some members of the National Assembly, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa and other top military officers.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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