Ibok-Ete Ibas, chief of naval staff (CNS), says the Nigerian navy is fully prepared to deal with any group trying to vandalise the nation’s assets.
Ibas said this on Monday when he visited the Nigerian Navy Engineering College in Sapele, Delta.
His statement comes two days after the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a militant group in the Niger Delta, called off its ceasefire with the federal government.
The group, which destroyed many oil assets in 2016, vowed that the attacks to come would be “bloodier”.
But Ibas said the navy did not have to wait until a threat comes from a particular group before it could act.
He said the statutory obligation of the navy is to protect lives and property as well as secure the nation’s assets in the maritime domain.
He listed Avengers, kidnappers, sea robbers and sea pirates among the “groups of criminals” whose activities the navy was out to contain.
“We do not wait until a threat comes from a particular group before the navy acts so what we do is to protect lives and property,” he said.
“Any threat is taken seriously especially against the nation’s assets and individuals and the Nigerian Navy will continue to do that to secure the maritime territory of Nigeria as well as bad waters.”
Ibas said the navy had to deploy a “checkpoint regime strategy” some time ago to combat crime adding that the strategy had yielded a lot of results as confirmed by the International Oil Companies (IOC).
“With the checkpoint management, our presence is all tailored toward reducing those challenges you have out there at the sea,” he said.
“I think the overall assessment is that the navy’s presence has reduced the incidences of pirates at sea.”