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Navy demands more operational vessels to fight oil theft, piracy

The Chief of Naval Staff, Ibot-Ete Ekwe – Ibas has demanded the acquisition of additional vessels to effectively tackle the incidences of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and sea piracy in the country.

Ekwe -Ibas made the demand Wednesday while defending Navy 2020 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Navy at the National Assembly Complex Abuja.

The Naval Chief noted that, “to effectively tackle these, the Navy needs adequate budgetary provision to acquire additional operational vessels”.

Chairman of House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau) stressed the importance of naval activities for the country which were of high economic benefits and pledged the support of the House to enable the military body realize its aim of stamping out economic sabotage.

The Chairman however warned the institution against working at cross purposes with the lawmakers and indicated the interest to inspect the Naval formations nationwide soon.

“As we look forward to undertaking familiarisation tour of naval formations across the country in the exercise of our oversight functions in no distant future, I call on the naval authorities to be transparent in their dealings to forestall the possibility of any gridlock with the committee.

“This committee is willing and ready to work with the Navy as partners in progress for optimal productivity, but we shall not hesitate to wield the big stick where you are found wanting.

“We shall not renege on its sacred responsibility of providing the needed oversight on the activities of the Navy, but we shall have as our underlying principle, the idea of adding value to the Navy than being a clog in the wheel of progress by reason of unnecessary antagonism.

“We shall not misconstrue the concept of checks and balances to mean executive/legislative bickering, but we shall also, not fail to adhere strictly to rules and procedures in order to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians are not shortchange”, he noted.

 

James Kwen, Abuja

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