The outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Adm. Abubakar Al-Hassan, said the Command had destroyed over 712 illegal refining units in the last seven months.
Al-Hassan disclosed this during the sendforth parade organised in his honour on Monday in Warri at the premises of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS), Delta, Warri Naval Base.
Al-Hassan who assumed duty on July 17, 2017 also said that over 900,000 metric tonnes of products suspected to be Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and crude oil were destroyed within the period under review.
He attributed the feat to the commitment and determination of his personnel to ensure that the maritime domain was sanitised from illegal activities in line with the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) directive of 2015.
“Over 100 wooden boats and power-driven boats engaged in illegalities in the creeks were either seized or destroyed.
“Part of these successes was attained through patrols at sea and within the backwaters as well as the conduct of exercises and operations such as OCTOPUSGRIP.
“The command also recorded over 25,000 hours of boat patrols within the creeks and waterways between July, 2017 and Jan. 18,’’ he said.
Al-Hassan noted that the nation’s economic centre of gravity fell within the operational domains of the Nigerian Navy (NN) thus making the Navy a vital driver, guidance and enabler of the Nigeria economic aspiration.
“In realisation of this, Navy has maintained constant presence and has deployed enough ships to ensure that criminal activities in the maritime domain are stopped,’’ he said.
The FOC commended the Edo, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa and Kogi state governments for their support in both facilities and logistic toward the Command’s operations and ultimate success.
He also thanked the traditional rulers and youth leaders in the Niger Delta for supporting the Nigerian Navy by ensuring peace in their various communities.
He urged the personnel to remain more committed toward ensuring safety and security of the maritime domain in the Command’s Areas of Responsibility (AoR). Al-Hassan also advised the personnel to sustain the good fellowship and give maximum support to the incoming FOC to enable him to succeed in his task.
“My utmost gratitude goes to the CNS for giving me the opportunity to contribute my quota to nation building in this capacity,’’ he said.
The incoming FOC, Central Naval Command, is Rear Adm. Saleh Usman.