Navy Has Surpassed Expectations In Fight Against Oil Theft, Says Reps Deputy Spokesman

House of Rep Deputy Spokeman

The Deputy Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Rep. Philip Agbese, said the Nigerian Navy has surpassed expectations in maritime security, anti-piracy operations, and crackdown on oil theft menace.

Under the visionary leadership of Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the Congressman said the Navy has implemented innovative strategies, leveraging technology, intelligence, and collaboration to combat illicit activities.

Agbese commended the Navy’s commitment to protecting the nation’s economic assets, improving revenue and ensuring the security of the Gulf of Guinea.

Speaking in reaction to questions on the House of Representatives’ investigation on crude oil theft in Nigeria, the lawmaker, who raised the motion last year, acknowledged the Navy’s operational efficiency in recent times.

Rep. Agbese reckoned that the impact of the Navy’s efforts goes beyond the economic benefits, noting that it has had a significant impact on the environment and the well-being of communities in the Niger Delta region.

Highlighting some of the proof of the Navy’s special amphibious operations to curb crude oil theft and sea robbery in Nigeria’s waters, he added: “Nigeria recorded its highest oil production in almost two years, with crude oil production rising from 1.08 million barrels per day in July 2023 to an average of 1.38 million barrels per day in January and February 2024, representing a 300,000-bpd increase.

“Additionally, Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export cargoes have increased from an average of 16 per month in 2023 to 21 monthly in the first quarter of 2024. The Nigerian Navy has also recovered over 62,000 barrels of crude oil, as well as close to a million liters of illegally-refined diesel, petrol and kerosene; valued in total at almost 10 billion Naira.

“The Nigerian Navy has dismantled illegal refining sites, arrested suspects and seized vessels and equipment used for oil theft. The reduction of illegal refining has led to a decrease in oil spills and environmental degradation, which has a positive impact on the livelihoods of people in the region.”

Agbese said the success was a testament to the leadership and commitment of Ogalla and the bravery and dedication of the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy.

He, however, urged the Navy to sustain the efforts and continue to work towards enhancing its capabilities to tackle emerging security challenges in the nation’s maritime domain.

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