Navy to get more warships, helicopters to curb sea piracy in Niger Delta

Yenagoa—Authorities of the Nigerian Navy have disclosed the plan to acquire eight helicopters and warships to patrol and secure the Creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta region.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Obinwanne Egbuchulam, made this known while delivering the 7th annual public lecture of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa Council.

According to a report by Leadership newspaper, the lecture had as its theme: “Maritime Security: Implications for Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry.”

He stated that Navy personnel have repelled over 44 vessel attacks by pirates with 487 suspected oil thieves arrested, 168 illegal refineries destroyed, and 393 wooden boats seized.

Egbuchulam, who was represented by the Commander Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Soroh, Commodore Patrick Effah, explained that with the acquisition of more warships, helicopters and other equipment, the incidences of sea piracy had been reduced.

The chairman of the occasion and the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, said insecurity in the waterways was a serious issue that needed a solution.

The monarch stressed that a holistic approach that includes making the economy functional to create jobs for the people was the best way to address the menace.

The Bayelsa state commissioner for information and orientation, Mr Ayibaina Duba, commended the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ for organizing the lecture that focused on maritime security and its implications for the oil and gas industry.

In his welcome address, Chairman of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel, Mr Chris Eze, said the focus of this year’s lecture was maritime security aimed at calling the attention of stakeholders to take action to secure the nation’s waterways.

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