Navy seizes N420bn stolen crude oil, illegally-refined diesel

Nigerian amphibious army march during a joint military exercise between Nigerian armed forces, United States, Britain, Netherlands and Spain in Lagos on October 18, 2013. Nigerian armed forces are participating in a three-week joint military training with special forces specialising in fighting maritime criminals drawn from the United States, Netherlands, Britain and Spain, holding in southwest and southern coastal regions under the auspices of African Partnership Station (APS). The joint military exercise code named "African Winds" and spearheaded by the Nigerian Navy, is designed to improve the capacity of Nigeria's armed forces in its war against oil theft and other criminal activities in the creeks and high seas. AFP PHOTO/ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The Nigerian Navy said on Wednesday that it seized 810,725 metric tonnes of stolen crude in 2016 alone.

The service also seized 1,078,104 metric tonnes of illegally-refined diesel last year and destroyed 181 illegal refineries.

It also arrested 33 vessels.

The Navy put the financial worth of the seized crude oil and diesel at N420.1billion, excluding the value of vessels, boats and vehicles seized by them.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas, gave the figures at the National Assembly in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Navy to defend the NN’s 2017 budget proposals.

The CNS spoke just as the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Abdussamad Dasuki, disclosed that inadequate funding of the NN had resulted in an annual economic loss of N3trillion by the country.

The amount is almost half of Nigeria’s 2017 budget estimates of N7.298trillion.

Giving further details of its operations in 2016, Ekwe-Ibas said 38 barges and 263 wooden boats were destroyed.

He added that 53 other boats were arrested; 784 suspects were arrested; 145 outboard engines were confiscated; and 135 speedboats arrested.

Other seizures and arrests were, “2,97 drums; 4,753 jerry cans; 27 trucks; 47 vehicles; 15 motorcycles; 139 geepee tanks; and 224 surface tanks.”

In addition, the CNS said 468 arms and 1,659 ammunition were seized.


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