Uyo — The Nigeria Navy said on Monday that it destroyed over 7378 illegal refineries and 908 deep canoes also called Cotonou boats and arrested over 40 vessels and many badges in the past six months.
Commodore Joseph Okojie stated this during the Nigerian Navy retreat for maritime stakeholders in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Okojie lamented that the war against illegal refiners of crude oil is enormous as villagers see oil bunkering as their legitimate means of livelihood.
"Everybody in the village where these activities occur has a boat. They do not see anything wrong in what they are doing. As these refineries are destroyed and as the navy turn their backs, thousands more of these illegal refineries resurface," he said.
He said the total volume of oil stolen last year amounted to about nine million, and that the losses on black waters were more than what the country was losing offshore. He called for cooperation between the navy and other agencies.