Nigerian Navy

Nigerian Navy In Oil Theft: US Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk Arrives Nigeria To Strengthen Maritime Security

Nigerian Navy In Oil Theft: US Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk Arrives Nigeria To Strengthen Maritime Security

OpenLife Nigeria reports that as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC Ltd, the country’s oil and gas regulator said that Nigeria lost over $1 billion to crude theft in the first quarter of 2022, the economy is suffering serious revenue shortage and borrowing furiously to keep government running.
This is beside the fact that the economy, before this report, had been under pressure and doubly battered by the COVID-19 fallout.
However, the ongoing court-martial of 13 Nigerian Navy personnel in Lagos for alleged complicity in oil theft and vandalism draws attention to the enormity of Nigeria’s huge fiscal leakage and how corruption has all but made it impossible to stop the haemorrhage.
Latest reports indicate that about 108,000 barrels of crude are stolen daily from state-linked production. OPEC estimates that the country lost 2.3 million barrels in July alone and 28 million barrels in total from January to July this year.
The country is in dire financial straits, suffering massive revenue shortfalls, piling up debts and spending almost all it makes on repayment, principally as a result of the inefficiency and ineptitude of the Nigerian Navy to effectively police the country’s water ways.
In this regards, the government has been helpless in stopping the collusion by state agents in this grand larceny.
Entrapped by sheer greed and electing to roll in the mud with those they were deployed to check, complicit military and other security personnel have become part of the thieving syndicates.
The Director of Naval Information, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, giving an update on the trial, lamented, “Repeatedly, naval personnel have been warned to steer clear of crude oil theft, oil bunkering and associated crimes under any guise, concealment or circumstance.”
Perhaps, it is against this backdrop that on August 18, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) arrived at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard in Lagos for a scheduled port visit. During the visit, Mohawk officers will meet with Nigerian Navy leadership at the Western Navy Command Headquarters in Apapa, as well as host ship tours for Nigerian government and military officials. Following the port visit, Mohawk will conduct two days of at-sea engagements with the Nigerian Navy to promote maritime security cooperation.
Consul General Will Stevens welcomed the ship’s arrival, and noted, “the United States is committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy in its efforts to both secure its own territorial waters and those of the greater Gulf of Guinea. Cooperation and the ability to operate together in the maritime domain are necessary to enhance Nigeria’s capacity to counter piracy, oil bunkering, illegal fishing, and other sea-based illicit activities.”
Shortly after the ship’s arrival, Consul General Will Stevens and Commander Andrew Pate, Mohawk’s Commanding Officer, met with Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, the Flag Officer Commanding of Nigeria’s Western Naval Command, to discuss the United States and Nigeria’s shared commitment to a safe and secure Gulf of Guinea.
The United States and Nigeria have a proud maritime partnership of promoting peace, stability, and security in Africa. Nigeria is a participant in exercise Obangame Express, the largest multinational annual maritime security exercise in West Africa, and will host the next iteration in January of 2023. Obangame Express encourages countries to work together to address transnational maritime challenges.
The waters surrounding the African continent are crucial for Africa’s prosperity and access to global markets. The United States shares a common interest with African partners in ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation.

About Cutter MOHAWK

The ship is named for the Algonquin tribe of Iroquoian Indians who lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York. MOHAWK is the third cutter to bear the name. The original MOHAWK (1902-1917), a first class, 205-foot, steel revenue cruiser was built in Richmond, Virginia, and commissioned on May 10th, 1904. She was used primarily as a training ship. In October of 1917 she was struck by another vessel and sank off Sandy Hook, New Jersey.
The second MOHAWK (1935-1948), a 165-foot, “A” class cutter, was built in Wilmington, Delaware and commissioned on January 19th, 1935. She served primarily as an escort and ice patrol ship in the north Atlantic. On January 8th, 1948, MOHAWK was decommissioned and was used as a pilot boat on the Delaware River for more than 30 years. She is located in Key West, Florida.
The third and current MOHAWK is the thirteenth and last of the 270-foot “Famous” class cutters. Built by the former Robert E. Derecktor Shipyards of Rhode Island, MOHAWK was christened on September 9th, 1989. Since the time of her commissioning in March of 1991, she has served the Coast Guard in a wide variety of missions including Search and Rescue, Maritime Law Enforcement, and Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations. MOHAWK has rescued thousands of Haitian, Cuban, and Dominican Republic migrants and has supported as many as 756 migrants on deck at one time. MOHAWK has also interdicted over 80 drug laden vessels, detaining hundreds of narcotics smugglers, and denying drug cartels hundreds of millions of dollars in profit from the sale of illicit narcotics. This, as well as MOHAWK’s role in several search and rescue cases and hundreds of boardings to enforce our nation’s laws, has earned MOHAWK numerous Coast Guard Unit Commendations and Joint Service awards. MOHAWK is homeported in Key West, Florida.


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