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HomePiracyAkwa Ibom Govt Gives Out 14 Gunboats To Tackle Sea Piracy

Akwa Ibom Govt Gives Out 14 Gunboats To Tackle Sea Piracy

As part of efforts to tackle sea piracy in Akwa Ibom State, the governor, Umo Eno, has given out 14 gunboats for security agents.

According to the governor, who spoke at the
Speaking during the inauguration of the patrol gunboats at the Nigerian Naval Ship Base in Ikot Abasi, the gunboats will further boost maritime security in the coastlines and protect some critical economic assets of the state.

He said, “With the 14 gunboats, this programme will also mitigate the activities of pirates and other criminal elements within the coastal communities.

“This, no doubt will boost our blue economy, water transportation within and with neighbouring states, while improving the livelihood of our people living within the coastal communities.”

The governor commended the existing synergy between the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies with the state government and clarified that the waterways operation will be a joint task force led by the Nigerian Navy, with support from sister agencies and some locals with a good understanding of the maritime environment, who may be profiled through the Ibom Community Watch programme and co-opted into operations.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, in his remarks, lauded the governor’s venture to explore the blue economy as visionary, given the potential in the sector to boost the economy of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria as a whole.

He described the procurement of the 14 patrol boats as an indication of the state government’s seriousness in making the maritime environment safe for business and therefore assured of the commitment of the Navy to ensure the state gets the best of security, as he sounded a “game over” warning to criminal elements who may still be hiding in the area, declaring the Akwa Ibom coastline a no crime zone.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Waterways, General Koko Essien rtd., said the Akwa Ibom coastline, besides its long stretch of over 129 kilometres, has many adjourning rivers emptying into it and providing safe areas for criminals, affirming that the launch of the 14 patrol boats portends business collapse for waterways criminals, as the government will stop at nothing in dislodging them and ensuring they face the law.

 

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