Nigerian Navy inaugurates operation to combat crime on Lagos waterways
By Matthew Atungwu
The Western Naval Command on Thursday launched “Operation Water Guard” in the Badagry axis of Lagos State.
The inauguration was a component of efforts to stop oil theft, piracy, smuggling, and other illegal activities that plague the marine area.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan, said the operation’s opening of the exercise was designed to safeguard the country’s economy.
During the inauguration of the operation, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral MB Hassan said the exercise was set up to protect the nation’s economy.
He said “In response to the escalating maritime threats, Operation WATER GUARD is a strategic initiative aligned with the Navy’s mandate to ensure the safety of Nigeria’s maritime environment. The operation specifically targets the Badagry water and land axis around Ashipa, a border community to the Benin Republic.
“The operation would further ensure the nation’s maritime domain would be conducive during the yuletide period and beyond.
‘We solicit support, especially from the communities. This operation would not add to already established checkpoints along the road but we will employ intelligence-led checks which would complement the sustained presence at sea.
“We are working with sister agencies towards achieving the common goal of safeguarding our nations. We are employing a lot of intelligence and it is working.”
Speaking during the inauguration, the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, stated that the OP WG stands as a testament to the Nigerian Navy’s unwavering commitment to maritime security and the desire to protect the nation’s economic prosperity.
According to Oguntuga, intelligence facilities have located the offenders’ hideouts and the houses where their vessels are kept.
In a separate interview with journalists, Captain Aiwuyor Aliu, the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy’s Forward Operating Base Badagry, stated that between March and November of this year, the FOB, Badagry, apprehended more than N81 million worth of contraband that had been illegally imported or transported into the nation in the local community.