The Nigerian Government has called on the Nigerian Navy’s support with the Bonny deep Seaport project to identify pipes.
This was disclosed by Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, in a statement, after a meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, in Abuja.
The Navy also revealed that since they left the ports in 1996, the proliferation of arms had increased through Nigeria’s ports.
What they are saying
Amaechi said, “There’s a place we have chosen to build the seaport; we want to make sure there are no pipes in that location and en-route that location by vessels.
”We will be glad if you can work with us to identify where the pipes are in Bonny, so that we know where they are.”
He added that the Ministry was committed towards maritime security in Nigeria and urged for further collaboration with the Navy stating, “If it’s something within my authority as the Minister, we proceed and approve. If it’s above the Minister, I will approach the President, so we can get the same approval.”
Admiral Gambo, the Chief of Naval Staff, stated that there needed to be more Navy presence in Nigeria’s maritime commercial centres to stem the flow of crime-hampering activities.
He said, “Credible intelligence has it that since we left the ports in about 1996, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons into our country is scary.
”But again, at every importation of fertiliser making materials or explosives for mining sites, the Navy had to be invited.”
He added that if the NPA invited the Navy at every opportunity to come and inspect the consignments and also ensure that they got to the destinations they were meant for and they are not diverted, then why not have the Navy at the ports so that when the containers came in, they were not poached at the ports.
”It has not gained the necessary traction but I have written again to see that there is a need for that, especially with the establishment of the Office of the National Coordinator on Small Arms and Light Weapons by the Office of the National Security Adviser,” he noted.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported last week that Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Banking Group and Heirs Holdings had warned that businesses were suffering and Nigeria was losing 95% of oil production to oil thieves, citing the Bonny terminal oil theft, as the terminal should be receiving over 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily, instead it received less than 3,000 barrels.