The Nigerian Navy in Rivers State have destroyed two illegal 50,000-litre refineries producing N8 million worth of diesel daily.
The Base Operations Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Cdr. Chindo Yahaya, made the disclosure yesterday during the destruction of the refineries in Abonnema, the headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He noted that operators of the refineries abandoned their tools and fled after they learnt of the approach of naval personnel and gunboats. ‚ÄúWe went out on patrol yesterday (Thursday) night, and based on intelligence report, the patrol team was able to discover the illegal crude oil refining sites at Opobo creek, close to Abonnema.
‚ÄúThere are two active illegal crude oil refining sites. As at the time the patrol team arrived early this (yesterday) morning, they were still working. The crude oil is being refined to obtain AGO (diesel) and some quantity of kerosene.
‚ÄúBased on the sizes of the refining tanks, there are about 15,000 litres of refined AGO, while the remaining crude oil that they are yet to refine runs into thousands of litres.‚Äù The base operations officer also stated that the navy destroyed the refineries because its personnel could not make any arrest at the scene. He stressed that in spite of the success recorded by the navy in its fight against oil theft and illegal refining, the personnel would continue to carry out 24-hour air and water patrol of the creeks.