The Nigerian Navy’s anti piracy operations code named ‘Operation (Op) TSARE TEKU’ has been extended by 3 months with effect from 20 October 2016. This follows the successful conduct of the first and second phases of the Op which were launched on 25 April 2016 and 22 July 2016 respectively. TSARE TEKU which is an Hausa phrase means ‘Safe River’.
Ships and platforms of the Nigerian Navy currently participating in the Op include NNS CENTENARY, NNS OKPABANA, NNS SAGBAMA, NNS ANDONI and NNS KYANWA. The Task Group is supported with a robust intelligence network from the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Centres (RMAC) and the FALCON EYE located at Yenagoa, Calabar, Lagos, Oghara and Abuja.
At the flagging off ceremony of phase 3 of the Operation held on 20 October 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said that prior to the commencement of the Operation in April 2016, there were about 40 successful cases of piracy attacks in Nigerian waters. According to the CNS, this trend stopped as soon as the Op was launched.
Giving an assessment of the Op, Vice Admiral Ibas noted that during the first phase from April to July 2016, only 2 successful cases of piracy were recorded, while 1 successful case and 1 unsuccessful attempt were also recorded during the second phase of the operations between July and now. He maintained that this significant achievements as evidenced by marked reduction in successful piracy attacks and other maritime crimes has no doubt enhanced shipping activities and protection of oil and gas infrastructure. It also provided support for Op DELTA SAFE as a viable platform to cover the whole of the Niger Delta region and surrounding waterways.
Additionally, Op TSARE TEKU has continued to enhance the tactical and technical capability of Naval Ships and personnel. In the course of these operations, the Nigerian Navy has partnered with other maritime stakeholders in order to improve efficient intelligence sharing and compatibility for the benefit of maritime security.
In a related development, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas has embarked on annual inspection of Nigerian Navy Ships, Bases, Units and establishments as part of strategies to mitigate operational and administrative challenges being faced by the service.