The government of Nigeria’s Rivers State has donated 14 boats to local security forces to combat maritime crime in the state.
The boats were handed over on 11 March by Governor Nyesom Wike, who said the boats would be used by the military and police to improve security, particular piracy and illegal bunkering.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said maritime terrorism, oil theft and piracy are major challenges that the Navy has continue to confront.
The boats were built by Nigerian company Abitto Global Services, which offers fabrication, oil and gas services, marine services, logistics and procurement as its main services.
Wike bemoaned the scourge of illegal bunkering, and said that “Most of the problem we have with illegal oil bunkering is that security agencies are fully involved in this illegal oil bunkering. That’s the truth. Civil defence is involved. Army is involved. Police are involved. The Navy is involved. Let us tell ourselves the simple truth.”
“All of us owe it a duty to see how we can salvage this country. 80 per cent of the revenue of this country comes from oil and if we cannot reduce or stop this illegal oil bunkering this country is in for a problem. And so, we must all work together to help this country.”