Akwa Ibom - The Eastern Obolo Local Government of Akwa Ibom on Monday promised to to build an operational jetty for naval operations in the area.
Chairman of the council, Francis Uduyuk, made the promise when the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command of Nigerian Navy, Rear Adm. Joe Aihkomu, visited the area to assess the operational efficiency of officers and men of the navy.
Uduyuk also promised to provide operational office and residential quarters for the naval personnel that would be posted to the outpost station in the area.
The chairman, who conducted the officer around the Ayama Jetty for the proposed outpost station, said that as a riverine local government, Eastern Obolo was prone to “marine evils like oil theft, illegal bunkering and kidnapping".
“Recently, we have kidnapping cases on the increase using the creeks, so there is need for naval post here.
“I had to write to the Flag Officer Commanding through Governor Godswill Akpabio for the establishment of naval presence in the local government,” Uduyuk said.
He promised to construct the outpost station as soon as the design of the structure is made available to him.
Responding, the officer advised the chairman to construct a floating jetty because of the shallow nature the water.
The officer, who was accompanied by the Commanding Officer, Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS) Jubilee, Ikot Abasi, Commodore Isaac Ogbole, said he was in the command to encourage the personnel in the task of combating illegal oil bunkering and theft.
“I am here to encourage my base at Ikot Abasi to reduce illegalities on our waterways.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at NNS Jubilee at Ikot Abasi, the Flag officer was conducted around flash points where crude oil was illegally refined into diesel and petrol.
The commanding officer, Commodore Ogbole, told newsmen that between Feb. 28 and March 2, more than 350 drums of locally refined diesel, valued at more than N1.5 million, had been destroyed by his command.
He said so far, two suspects were arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution.
“We will not have our nation impoverished by unpatriotic persons,” Ogbole said.