The Nigerian Navy said it has concluded arrangements to relocate the Naval Training Command headquarters from Lagos to Onne in Rivers State.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, disclosed this when he led a delegation of top officers of Navy High Command on a courtesy visit to the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, at Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Ogalla described that the Nigerian Navy and Rivers State as conjoined twins who cannot do without each other.

He stated, “The purpose of my coming here today is three-fold. The first is to inform His Excellency that on Saturday, we are graduating a set of former civilians who have been trained at our Basic Training School, Onne, and are graduating to join the ranks of the Nigerian Navy as ratings in order to beef up our strength.

“The second reason is to first appreciate the governor and the entire Rivers State government for the schools they donated to us: the Ambassador Nne Krukrubo Model Secondary School at Eleme in the Eleme Local Government Area, and the Model Secondary School, Egbelu in Oyigbo Local Government Area.

“We also want to use this opportunity to inform His Excellency that following that donation, and based on our strategic plan of moving our facilities to areas where we have enough space to be able to carry out our duties, we have renovated the school at Eleme.’’

“We are happy to report, today, that the erstwhile location of headquarters of Naval Training Command, Lagos, is moving to that particular school location in Eleme, tomorrow.”

Ogalla said the Navy had in recent times made commendable strides in its fight against crimes, following a charge by President Bola Tinubu.

He said the Nigerian Navy, under his watch, had impounded 14 vessels caught with stolen crude oil, adding that several arrests were made.

“I am here today to report Sir, that, with  Operation Delta Sanity launched in January 2024, we have been very successful, and within the period, we have recorded tremendous successes and achievements.

“Over 14 large crude-carrying vessels have been arrested within that period. Most of them are at various levels of investigation. We have also arrested several barges and other companies and organisations that are involved in oil theft.

“As a result of the operations, we are happy to report that there have been tremendous improvements in terms of security in the maritime environment,” Ogalla added.

Governor Fubara, in his response, encouraged the Nigerian Navy to be firm in the fight against all forms of economic sabotage, particularly crude oil theft, in the nation’s waterways.

The governor noted with delight the positive results already recorded by the Navy in the state due largely to the tremendous support it had received from his administration.

Fubara stated, “We are working together; we will give you all the support to make sure that you deliver on your mandate.

“And what is the mandate? You were appointed at a time when our country is facing a lot of crises, and your duty, among others, includes to reduce, if it cannot be eliminated completely, the criminalities perpetrated on the waterways; oil theft and others.

“And I am happy that they are positive and commendable records of achievement so far, in the course of your tenure.”

Fubara said the good news of reduced level of oil theft in Rivers State is evidence of the many positive things that are happening in the State beyond the much hyped negativity, and assured that such positive achievements will be sustained.

He added, “The success of the Nigerian Navy in our State, in the areas of curbing oil theft, is because the State Government has given you all the necessary support.

“We have collaborated with the command here. We supported them morally and with all the necessary logistics.

“We have also maintained good relationships with the communities to make sure that whatever it is that is required for these operations to be successful were granted. I am happy to be associated with these very laudable achievements.”

“So, I have to say that I am happy that the Chief of Naval Staff, today, is commending the success of the exercise. He is commending the doggedness of the men in fighting oil theft, not just in the Niger Delta, but particularly in our State.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to give them the support, and discourage any act that would be a sabotage to the economy of our State, “ the governor said.