February 8, 2023

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno, on Thursday, revealed that the Nigerian Navy has prevented the theft of over 3 billion barrels of crude oil in the last four years.

Monguno, who spoke during the weekly Ministerial Briefing, organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, disclosed that this feat and many others, were achieved through the deployment of its multi-billion-naira Falcon Eye Maritime Intelligence Facility.

According to the NSA, who touched on many achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the security sector and provided clarity on a number of knotty issues, the Navy has also used the multi-billion-naira facility to intercept some 200 vessels involved in maritime criminality within Nigeria’s within same period.

Monguno also revealed that the facility has helped to intercept 38 trawlers involved in illegal fishing, 82 oil tankers transporting stolen crude oil and has saved the country 11 million litres of diesel and PMS.

“The provision of high-quality real-time intelligence and collaboration for the prevention as well as prosecution of over 200 vessels involved in maritime criminality within Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone up to the Republic of Togo. These efforts have created an effective deterrence in the Nigerian EEZ.

“Over 82 oil tankers involved in various crude oil and product theft were arrested, the theft of over 3 billion barrels of crude oil was prevented, and 11 million litres of petrol and diesel were recovered.”

“Likewise, over 38 fishing trawlers and vessels are involved in unregulated and illegal activities. While incidents of piracy and sea robbery have been reduced to a minimum around the Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea”, he said.

He claimed that the recent arrests of a Norwegian flagship MT Heroic Aden and a Liberian flagship, MC Alexander J, who were involved in acts of criminality within the Nigerian maritime domain in August and September of 2022, respectively, demonstrates the efficient employment of the Falcon Eye systems.

He, however, observed that the security agencies still grapple with internal challenges such as insurgency in the north and separatist agitations in the southeast by the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

According to him, the security agencies are recording gains in the southeast, as IPOB’s Easter Security Network no longer hold sway in the region’s socioeconomic fabric.

“The Indigenous People of Biafra, also known as IPOB, and its militia wing, the Eastern Security Network, have emerged as a very potent separatist group in the country and equally a major threat to national security.

“However, their activities are being significantly curtailed, as there’s now a marked decline in the number and scale of attacks due to increased security operations by security agencies. Apart from the reduction in attacks, some of the group’s key commanders, including IED experts, have been arrested, while major camps have been destroyed.

“Overall, security forces are gradually stabilising the socioeconomic landscape in areas where IPOB terrorised law-abiding Nigerians in the past. The armed forces and other security agencies are sustaining these efforts”, he said.

He added that external developments within the West African sub region and beyond had impacted on Nigeria’s internal security dynamics.

He listed terrorism and insurgency, banditry, agitations for secession as well as piracy as some security threats which had raised concerns amongst Nigerians and the international community.

He equally mentioned drivers of insecurity to include the menace of drug trafficking, illiteracy, particularly out of school children – Almajire, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, porous borders, illegal mining, as well as hate speech and fake news.

The NSA said as long as these drivers of insecurity were prevalent in any given society, threats to national security would manifest in one form or the other.

He said this administration had been making significant strides towards dealing with the drivers of internal security concerns in the country.

He said dealing with the drivers of insecurity required a whole of nation approach, which will entail a whole of government and a whole of society approach.

“The whole of government approach will include the sincere efforts of all arms of government, executive, legislative, and judiciary at the local, state and federal levels. In carrying out the activities that I earlier highlighted, while the whole of society approach will include the combined efforts of all members of the society such as civil society organizations, parents, traditional and religious leaders, youth leaders, and the populace at large”, he said.

Monguno expressed optimism that the country shall achieve the desired degree of peace and security and prosperity for the nation “as we sustain the current tempo of intelligence driven kinetic and non kinetic operations.”

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