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Navy recruited 1,486 to tackle oil theft, piracy – Matawalle

Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, says the Nigeria Navy has recruited 1,486 personnel to boost the manpower needed for effective internal security…

Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, says the Nigeria Navy has recruited 1,486 personnel to boost the manpower needed for effective internal security operations in the Niger Delta.

Matawalle said this during the Passing Out Parade (POP) of Nigerian Navy’s Batch 35 Trainees at the Nigeria Navy Basic Training School in Onne, Rivers, on Saturday.

He said that the ratings went through six months extensive warfare and maritime combat training to equip them for the ongoing fight against oil thieves, pipeline vandals, and sea pirates, among other criminals.

“These young men and women are joining the Nigeria Navy at a time the Armed Forces need personnel with strength, courage, and resolve to combat the security challenges we face.

“The newly enlisted personnel passed through rigorous training in physical fitness, swimming, combat skills, and weapons handling, preparing them for maritime and land operations.

“They will be assigned to various units and formations to complement ongoing internal security operations,” the minister said.

Matawalle emphasised that the recruitment was a vital component of the navy’s capacity-building efforts to develop effective operational forces capable of addressing both internal and external threats.

According to him, the injection of the right manpower and skilled personnel is key to the ongoing expansion of naval fleet.

“The navy is focused on enhancing capacity through infrastructural development, activating various operations, conducting technology-driven patrols, and platforms acquisition and recapitalisation.

“Two 76-meter Offshore Patrol vessels are expected to arrive from Turkey, along with three additional Fast Attack Craft from China among others, to bolster the navy’s fleet.

“I am pleased to report that Operation Delta Sanity, activated to curb oil theft, has increased crude oil production to 1,428,613 bpd from less than 1,000,000 in the past six months,” he added.

The minister stressed that the navy was engaged in joint exercises and training with foreign naval partners to enhance local capabilities.

He urged the new naval ratings to be discipline, obedient and apolitical, and exhibit unwavering loyalty to the military and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

“Acts of desertion and disloyalty will result in severe consequences for those found wanting,” he cautioned the ratings. (NAN)

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