Speaking after the inauguration of some projects undertaken by the Eastern Naval Command, in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Ezeoba said the Navy needed equipment for requisite surveillance.
He also called for the enforcement of the laws against criminalities on the nation’s waters, saying that those that have been arrested for engaging in act of illegality are prosecuted in courts of competent jurisdiction and appropriate punishment meted to serve as deterrent to other.
He canvassed the prosecution of suspected oil thieves and other criminals engaging in illegal activities along the waterways.
He said lack of prosecution of the suspects was one of the operational challenges the force was facing in its fight against criminality in the nation’s maritime domain.
He said the enforcement and prosecution of the suspects would serve as a deterrent to others with similar intentions.
He said the Navy has the challenges of inadequate platform, but added the challenges were being addressed.
His words: “To police our large maritime boundaries requires a lot of platforms in the right places. We need helicopters, operational patrol vehicles, human capacity and above all, technology that will provide us with a requisite surveillance.
“Very soon we will begin to see a very high level of compliance by Nigerians, particularly, as it pertains to rules and regulations governing the maritime industry.‘’
The Naval chief said the Eastern Naval Command had been able to check illegal activities along the waterways within its area of operation.
“The ENC from the demographic that we have and the operational chart, would have been able to reduce to a very large extent the act of vandalism, particularly along the Calabar River and Akwa Ibom River.
“This has given seafarers and commuters, who use the waterway more confidence,‘’ Ezeoba said.
He said the command had lived up to expectations by adding value, which had enhanced professional capability of the officers towards attainment of the strategic objectives of the force.
He solicited the full cooperation of the public to enable the force to succeed.