BY FIDELIS SORIWEI
The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday debunked claims that piracy and kidnapping have been on the increase in the nation‚Äôs maritime domain.
The Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Ameen Ikioda, said that the Navy was doing its best to ensure the prevention of maritime related crimes in the nation‚Äôs territorial waters.
Ikioda spoke while briefing journalists on the forthcoming Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference with the theme ‚ÄòTransforming for Enhanced Nigerian Navy Operational Efficiency‚Äô scheduled to hold at Lokoja from November 9 to November 14, 2014.
He said that isolated incidents that occurred did not mean that piracy and kidnapping were on the increase in the maritime domain.
Ikioda said that the determination of the Navy to tackle the incidents of crude oil theft, piracy and kidnapping led to the establishment of three commands of the service for effective patrolling of the nation‚Äôs waterways.
The commands, according to him, are the Western Naval Command which operates from Lagos to the Benin River; the Eastern Naval Command whose operational activities are from the Benin River to the River Nun and the Eastern Naval Command whose operatives patrol from Calabar to the River Nun.
He stated that the establishment of the Central Nava Command where most of the crimes are committed had resulted in a drastic reduction of such crimes in the nation‚Äôs waters.
‚ÄúIt is not true to say that they (piracy and kidnapping) are on the increase. They are not on the increase.
‚ÄúThe Navy is doing the best it can in the present situation to maintain the waterways; ¬†that does not mean we will not have one or two cases‚Ä¶
‚ÄúWe can‚Äôt be every where but we are doing our best to react to calls as they occur. We try to do the needful where the navy is located.