By Abdulaziz Salisu
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas, has presented an operational scorecard of the Service for 2016, showing huge seizures of crude oil and diesel.
In his 2017 budget defence at the House of Representatives, Mr Ibas, a vice admiral, disclosed that the Nigerian Navy confiscated crude oil and diesel worth about N420 billion in 2016.
Throwing more light on the seizures, the CNS informed the House that the specific quantity of crude oil and diesel stood at 810,725 and 1,078 metric tons respectively.
Giving a breakdown of the achievements of the Service in 2016, the CNS revealed that the Nigerian Navy destroyed 181 illegal refineries, 263 wooden boats, 38 barges, 139 Geepee tanks, 148 pumping machines, arrested 784 suspects, 22 crude vessels, 53 wooden boats, 145 outboard engines, 135 speed boats, 27 tankers, seized 2,974 drums and recovered 468 arms, 1,659 ammunitions in 2016.
Furthermore, he said the Nigerian Navy confiscated 210 storage tanks, 47 vehicles, 15 motorcycles, 4,753 jerrycans, 27 power generating sets, 224 surface tanks, 24 hoses, 17 welding machines and 33 other vessels, reiterating that the feat was despite the reduction in overhead with only N2.5bn released out of about N3.4bn appropriated in 2016.
He said out of the N56.463 billion appropriated for personnel cost in 2016, N49.656bn was released, while the sum of N205.879 million was generated as Internally Generated Revenue and remitted to government via the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
As for 2017, he said the Nigerian Navy plans to expend about N26.446 billion on capital projects with the priority areas listed as fleet renewal, operational infrastructure upgrade, operational logistics procurement, capacity development and personnel welfare.
Earlier, the chairman House Committee on Navy, Abdulsamad Dasuki, commended the Nigerian Navy for performing credibly well, despite insufficient funding and other operational challenges, promising that the committee would ensure adequate allocation of fund for the maintenance and fuelling of Nigerian Navy platforms.
The chairman, however, observed that an estimated N3 trillion ($10bn) was lost in revenue due to Nigerian Navy’s inability to carry out statutory duties, reiterating that the Navy’s budgetary allocations must be realistic.