From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Nigerian Navy as part of efforts to assess the combat readiness of the its’ men towards tackling maritime insecurity, especially crude oil theft and piracy within the Central Naval Command (CNC) Area of Operations (AOR), has flagged off exercise COLD WATERS (EX AMI JIJI) .

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) CNC,   Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, who flagged off the exercise, yesterday ,disclosed that the overall objective is to work towards fulfilling the CNC mandate of securing the nation’s maritime space.

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According to Garba,with the exercise, the Navy is expected to sustain its presence at sea, within the creeks and on land which would enable naval personnel conduct mobile patrols operation to check the activities of criminals involved in piracy/ kidnapping, sea robbery and illegal bunkering.

“We intend to leverage on sustained coverage of NN maritime domain awareness (MDA) platforms domiciled within the CNC AOR to continue to extend our reach. It has recently been observed that pirates go over 200mm to launch attacks on vessels transiting through the CNC Maritime AOR.

“The incessant attacks would continue to affect the nation’s economic fortunes if allowed to persist. EX AMI JIJI will therefore show our resolve to address these unfortunate occurrences in our AOR as part of the NN efforts to tackle piracy and other economic threats in our maritime area.”