The Nigerian Navy (NN) has restated its ban on the use of 200 Horse Power out- board engines in the nation’s water ways.
This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in Abuja.
“This is part of the measures put in place to checkmate crimes in the nation’s coastal waters, especially the menace of piracy and smuggling.
“The Nigerian Navy wishes to remind all seafarers and companies operating within the coastal waters that there will soon be a restriction on the use of 200 horse power (HP) Outboard Engines on our waterways,’’ it said.
According to the statement, the measure is part of strategic efforts by the Service to ensure that the nation’s coastal waterways are secure for legitimate activities.
This, it said, became necessary due to the fact that pirates and other criminals used this high-power caliber engines to proceed into international waters within the Gulf of Guinea.
It also observed that the criminals carried out their nefarious activities at sea with the aid of this class of engines which are mounted on boats stowed on mother ships.
“In recent times, the Nigerian Navy and its maritime security partners, especially Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, confiscated many boats with 200 horse power outboard engines.
“Some of the confiscated engines have been released to their owners after strict profiling exercises,’’ it said.
It, however, said that investigation had proven that people of questionable character whose interests were in breach of security in the waterways used this class of high-power engines to perpetrate crimes.
The statement said that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, was working with various governments of the coastal states to ensure safety of such areas.
It said that individuals and corporate organisations wishing to acquire outboard engines in the capacity of 200 and above horse powers should register with the Nigerian Navy.
“The registration and profiling would be free so that only authorised persons and corporate organisations are allowed to use this class of engines on Nigerian coastal waters.
“This step will establish a credible data base of users of the boats fitted with these high caliber engines,’’ the statement said.
It, therefore, solicited the cooperation of state governments in the coastal areas on the restriction and profiling of this class of outboard engines.
“Currently, the governments of Delta and Bayelsa have provided necessary support to the Nigerian Navy and its maritime security partners.
“More proactive strategies have been launched by the Service and its maritime security partners to curb all forms of crimes and unwholesome activities in the maritime domain.(NAN)