In a significant effort to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests, the Nigerian Navy’s Operation WATER GUARD, initiated to combat illicit activities, has achieved a major breakthrough. Leveraging electro-optic facilities and air assets, the operation successfully unearthed and dismantled several depots holding thousands of jerricans, both empty and filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, Commander Joint Task Force Operation AWATSE/Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, addressed journalists following the discovery of these illegal depots. They were found in Iyaafin and Itsalu Communities within the Badagry inland area and adjoining creeks along the Nigeria-Benin Republic boundary.
Rear Admiral Hassan highlighted the swift and comprehensive action taken by naval personnel, who meticulously searched houses, schools, and recreational centers in these areas, uncovering a substantial quantity of illicitly stored petroleum products along with empty containers prepared for future storage.
Expressing concerns about potential hazards posed by such activities, Rear Admiral MB Hassan urged regulatory authorities to urgently review operations of petrol stations within the communities. This intervention is critical to preventing illicit activities and minimizing the risk of catastrophic fires that could have severe consequences on lives and property.
The FOC assured the public that the confiscated products would be safely evacuated, emphasizing the intensification of patrols to curb further economic sabotage.
This operation underscores the Nigerian Navy’s resolute commitment, led by Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, to maritime security and eradicating illicit activities within the nation’s maritime domain, ultimately contributing to Nigeria’s economic prosperity.