Rear Adm. Bello Al-hassan, , the Flag Officer Commanding,(FOC), Central Naval Command, (CNC), said the Nigerian Navy will soon embark on a riverine and sea exercises, code-named “Octopus grip,’’ in Bayelsa and Delta.
Rear Adm. Bello Al-hassan, , who said this on Thursday while addressing the press in Yenagoa, said that the exercise would have a duration from 30th October till 1st November. 1. He also made mention that the command was tasked with the responsibility of security of the waterways by providing adequate security within the command’s area of responsibility.
He said the command in January launched “Operation Rivers Sweep.’’ “So far, the operation has recorded huge success in reducing crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other maritime crimes. “Between May and Sept. this year, the command seized and destroyed about 870,000 MT of illegally refined crude oil. “Also, over 400 illegal refineries were destroyed, including 85 boats used by oil thieves,’’ he said.
The Reason behind Operation Octopus grip
The flag officer said the aim of the Octopus grip exercise is to ascertain the operational readiness of CNC fleet and to test the practical skills of its personnel in tackling maritime threats. He further said that the Nigerian Navy is working on providing an environment that would enable sustenance of economic activities, including Oil and Gas production, safety of shipping and other activities at sea. Al-hassan said a total of seven(7) ships and Thirty-seven (37) riverine boats would be involved in the operation of the high sea exercise.