One of the vessels had no documentation.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Dele Ezeoba, on Saturday said the Nigerian Navy had intercepted 17 vessels in the Niger-Delta which indulged in illegal maritime activities.
Mr. Ezeoba, a Vice Admiral, said this in Port Harcourt while briefing newsmen at the end of a joint sea military exercise code named “Operation FARAUTA” which in Hausa means hunting.
He said 17 vessels were intercepted out of which two were found culpable because they still had further explanations to give as to the quantity of product they had on board.
He said some of the vessels intercepted had crude oil in excess of the quantity authorised, adding that one of the arrested vessels did not have any documentation at all.
The naval chief said the apprehended vessels did not possess the required documents authorising their activities.
“It is important to note that the exercise would be continuous and we will do what is humanly possible within the limit of available logistics.
“Going out at sea had cost us a lot in terms of human and material resources and for us to continue to do what we are supposed to do, it is important we get all the support we can get from government,’’ he said.
Mr. Ezeoba said it was difficult to patrol the nation’s waters if the right platforms were not made available to ensure that the capacity required was in place. He said the Navy needed the support of everyone including the media so that people would understand the problems of illegal activities going on in the waters.
“The enormity of the wealth of this country, the peace and stability, sustainable economic growth and development lies in the sea and it is only the Navy that has the capacity to protect it.
“So we need to be encouraged and be empowered; so I can assure you that given the right resources we will certainly deliver,” he added.
The joint military exercise took place between November 11 and November 17.