The Nigerian Navy says it will soon restrict the use of 200 horsepower outboard engines on the nation’s waterways, to safeguard against piracy, smuggling and other crimes.
The navy, in a statement, described the engine as being of “high powered caliber”, and often used by criminals for nefarious activities at sea.
It however said there was an arrangement to ensure that individuals and corporate organisations with genuine intentions could acquire or keep their 200 horsepower engines if they already have it.
Part of the arrangement would be to register and profile those who have or intend to have their boat fitted with the engine, said the statement which was released on Thursday by the navy’s Director of Information, Christian Ezekobe.
The statement said the registration which is going to be free would help the navy have a credible database of those who use such engine, and that the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, was working with the various state governments of the coastal states in that regard.
The statement mentioned Delta and Bayelsa state governments as having provided necessary support to the navy and its maritime security partners, while soliciting the support of the government in the coastal states.
“In recent times, the Nigerian Navy and its maritime security partners, especially Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, have confiscated many boats with 200 horse power outboard engines,” the statement said.
“Some of the confiscated engines have been released to their owners after strict profiling exercises.
“However investigation has proven that people of questionable characters whose interest are in breach of security in the waterways use this class of high powered engines to perpetuate crimes.
“The Nigerian Navy assures that 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.”