Nigeria to establish more Naval bases in Niger Delta

May 09, 2006 02:00 AM

In a bid to stem the spate of illegal bunkering and trafficking on the high seas, the Federal Government is to establish four more Naval Bases in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of State for Defence (Navy), Dr Roland Oritsejafor, hinted of the development in Asaba, the Delta State capital when he paid a courtesy call on Governor James Ibori in Government House. According to him, the bases are to be sited at Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States respectively. Akwa Ibom State already has one which the minister said would be upgraded with modern facilities to meet the challenges.

He stated that the new bases were established to counter the upsurge of illegal bunkering, trafficking and ensure the protection of the external boundaries of the country. Oritsejafor expressed worry over the illicit activities of the oil thieves, saying that their unwholesome acts have become worrisome to the government. He stressed that the operational bases would bring sanity to the maritime environment.
Oritsejafor, accompanied on the visit by top Naval brass in the Western Command, said, "The bases constitute a very important bridges in the logistics supply".

He said the Federal Government has given special attention to the Niger Delta region given its strategic importance to her economy. He praised President Olusegun Obasanjo for working assiduously to build "a virile and stable economy“ and bring lasting solution to the troubled region. He said the Navy as an intervention force, would continue to work in tandem with the states in the region.
Responding, Governor James Ibori, praised the Federal Government for establishing the bases in the region. Ibori noted that they would address illegal activities on the high seas and bring stability to the region.

Ibori said the state government would give a helping hand to the Navy to make the project a reality. He said he was optimistic that the people of the state were supporting the state peace project, noting that the peace moves were meant to integrate the people.
"Talking about local content, we will like our people to be involved but we find out that our local people have always failed us. More often than not, they are their own enemies", he lamented.

Source: This Day
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