From Omale Adama with agency report
Commander, NNS Luguard Lokoja of the Nigerian Navy Commodore, Shuwa Muhammed, yesterday said the Navy had impounded a 40-meter-length wooden boat conveying about 65,000 liters of petroleum products said to be diesel or crude oil from bunkers’ on the River Niger.
He said the boat was discovered at a marshy area on River Niger around Lokoja on Monday by the command while on patrol from Baro Niger State to Lokoja and Idah in Kogi state.
In a media briefing in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the commander said the petroleum products were stored in nine Geepee tanks of 500 liters each. He added that the command also recovered from the boat, three Yamaha boat engines, two pumping machines, 150 liters of PMS, three hoses, ruber bucket, a machete, one bag containing machine tools and five empty 25 liters of jerry cans.
Muhammed said the command had intensified patrol around the area, adding that this must have made the bunkerers to abandon the products and fled for their lives while his officials later discovered and impounded the boat and the petroleum products.
According to him, the seized products would be handed over to the officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation for testing to determine the type of products they are. He added that the boat will be destroyed with all its equipment.
Muhammed said, “The Federal Government policy and directive from the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, on zero tolerance on oil theft and illegal bunkering on our waterway would be enforced with a view to eradicate the menace, which have led to significant loss in revenue accruable to the federal government.”
He however called on the public to give useful information to the command in its effort to eradicate oil theft on the water ways.
The representative of the NNPC at the media briefing, Mr. Joseph Idoko, said the product will undergo test to determine whether it is diesel or crude.