Abuja (NAN) The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday said it had reduced incidence of oil theft from 2.4 million barrels per month in 2014 to 300,000 barrels per month as at June, 2015.
The outgoing Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, disclosed this in Abuja at the handing over ceremony to his successor, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas.
Jibrin said the feat was one of the achievements recorded by the Navy under his command.
He said curbing the menace of oil thieves in the Niger Delta region was a daunting task that was surmounted by the Navy.
Jibrin urged the incoming naval administration to build on the successes recorded in the past months with the bid to taking the Navy to greater heights.
“I wish to urge the incoming chief and his team to build on the achievements some of which I have tried to enumerate to improve on the Navy’s service delivery to the nation.
“With specific reference to the issue of oil theft, I urge the new administration to sustain the tempo to totally eliminate crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism,’’ he said.
In a remark, the new Chief of Naval Staff, Ibas, acknowledged the achievements of his successor and promised to build on them to achieve set targets.
He said his administration would focus on actualising the constitutional mandate of the navy to the nation.
Ibas said the navy would under his command build capacity and provide greater opportunities for Nigeria to explore.
“With your support I will provide responsive and motivational leadership that will institute appropriate reward system.
“Accordingly, my vision will be to develop a credible naval power in fulfillment of the Nigeria Navy constitutional roles towards enhancing national prosperity and security,’’ he said.
Similarly, the incoming Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Maj.-Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, said the ongoing military operations in the North East would be reviewed for greater efficiency.
The CDS, who formally took over from his predecessor, retired Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, said he would meet with the service chiefs and other officers to brainstorm on the planned changes.
Olonishakin said the review would be done to address the new mandate of the armed forces and to also address emerging challenges in ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the North East.
He said the operations would be given new time lines with specific strategic targets, adding that the command and control centre in Maiduguri would be repositioned.
Badeh, who handed over to Olonishakin at a closed door ceremony, urged the new leadership of the armed forces to be resolute in stemming the tide of Boko Haram.
He also urged officers and men of the armed forces to support the new service chiefs to succeed in their various tasks of safeguarding the nation from terrorists.
Earlier at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters, the new Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadeeq Abubakar, pledged to sustain the gains of his predecessor, retired Air Marshal Adesola Amosun.
Abubakar said his administration would evaluate the achievements recorded and build on them.
He said the Airforce would increase its operational fire power in the counter-insurgency operation in the North East.
“We will leave no stone unturned to support the constituted authorities to discharge their duties to the nation.
“I wish to stress that we will continue from where the immediate past administration stopped in the quest to defend our father land.
“I shall attempt to in the coming days, critically evaluate where we have been, where we are now and where we hope to be with the view to strengthening our capacity,’’ he said.
The outgoing NAF Chief, Amosun, in his speech, urged the new administration to sustain the service’s operations in the region, particularly in providing air surveillance and air strikes against the terrorists.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the formal change of guards at the Defence and Services Headquarters symbolised the complete change of command by the new service chiefs.