The Nigerian Navy (NN) has through its anti-economic sabotage operations, destroyed a total number of 2,287 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region between 2015 -2019.
This was disclosed on Friday by the Naval Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Ifeola Mohammed, during press briefing at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, organized to announce activities lined-up for the NN 64th Anniversary Celebrations.
Mohammed said the breakdown of the destroyed illegal refineries from 2015 to 2019 shows that in 2015, about 140 illegal refineries were destroyed and 128 illegal refining sites in 2016.
He noted that in 2017, a total of 1,218 illegal refineries were destroyed, while 383 and 418 illegal refining sites were destroyed in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
He said: “From records, 2017 recorded the highest number of illegal refining sites destroyed. This figure decreased in 2018 and later increased slightly in 2019.
The naval chief of policy and plans explained that reduction in the number of illegal refining sites destroyed from 2017 – 2019 could be attributed to the ongoing swamp buggy operations in the Niger Delta which makes it difficult for perpetrators to reactivate destroyed illegal refining sites
According to him, “The NN also recorded successes in anti-COT and illegally sourced petroleum product which has reduced illegal oil dealings within the Nigerian maritime environment from 2017-2019. For instance, in 2017, the NN denied criminal oil entrepreneurs dealing on illegal oil about 218,057 barrels of crude oil valued at about N3,724,413,560 and 60,553,415 ltrs of AGO valued at N11,807,915,925.
“Similarly, in 2018, illegal oil dealings of about 295,028 barrels of crude oil valued at about N5,039,078,240 and 23,991,325 ltrs of AGO valued at N4,678,308,375 were denied the criminal oil entrepreneurs by the NN.”
He added: “In the same vein, in 2019, the NN denied criminal oil entrepreneurs dealing on illegal oil 296,192 barrels of crude oil valued at about N5,058,959,360 and 42,729,530 ltrs of AGO valued at N8,332,258,350.”
Speaking further, he noted that the current COVID-19 Pandemic has necessitated a review of the initial plan for the anniversary, adding that the celebrations would be limited to only few activities to reflect the sombre mood in the country.
“All Ships would be Dressed Overall from Monday 25 May – Monday 1 June 2020. It is pertinent to state that this period will also witness the Distribution of Palliatives and Donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the NN.
“In these regards, the NHQ and all Commands will further engage with designated authorities in host communities for distribution of palliative and PPE from Thursday 28 – Friday 29 May 2020.
“The NN will also commission a COVID-19 Isolation Centre in Lagos. This is with a view to supporting the FG fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Lastly, a modified and highly restricted Ceremonial Sunset will be held at Command level on Monday, 1 June 2020 to mark the end of the week-long activities of the NN 64th Anniversary.”