Wike commends Naval High Command for measures to check oil theft

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has commended the  Naval High Command  for taking concrete measures  to  stem the theft of crude oil  in the Niger Delta  by strengthening  the security  architecture  of the waterways.

The governor  also added that the state government  will provide logistics support to the Nigerian Navy in the operation  of the  25 Epenal Security  Boats acquired  for the NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt.

Speaking  during the launching of the 25 Epenal  Security  Boats at the NNS Pathfinder on Wednesday  in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that  security in the waterways  will help in the acceleration  of development  in the Niger Delta.

He said  that the local construction  of  the  Epenal Security  Boats has helped in the creation  of  jobs in the country  and the improvement  of  the  capacity  of  Nigerian Ship manufacturers.

He said: “The Rivers State Government is happy  with the Naval High Command for  deploying these boats to this region. It will help in reducing oil theft. This will in turn have a positive  impact  on our economy.

“These boats will also check violent  crimes in the creeks and improve  the  standard of  living  of our people.  The Rivers State Government  will  provide logistics  support  in the operation  of  the  boats”.

While commending  the  Federal Government for the measures  taken to  improve  the  operational capacity  of  the  military,  Governor Wike  stated that the state government  will always cooperate  with  the  armed forces  on Security  matters.

In his remarks,  the Chief of Defence Staff,  General Gabriel Olonisakin said  the  decision  of  the  Navy to commission  an indigenous  company  to produce the boats will develop  the  required  indigenous  capacity for the manufacture of  defence equipment.

He said the country  was passing through challenging times in terms of security  management,  noting  that  the  deployment  of  the  additional  25 boats will help the navy.

Also speaking, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas said it is the first time security  boats are being produced  locally.  He said that the production  is half the cost of importing the  security  boats.

He said  that the boats have the required  security  features  to deter criminals  in the waterways.

The Managing Director of Epenal Group, Mr Lele Aaron said  it is in the  best interest of the country to encourage local ship manufacturers  for the creation of jobs and capacity.

Highpoint of the  programme was the introduction of the boats to the waterways. 


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