Warri – The Nigerian Navy has advised illegal refinery operators to desist from the illicit business, saying there will be no more hiding place for them.
Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, gave the advice in Uobodede creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta on Thursday.
Dewu urged the operators to follow proper channel and key into the Federal Government’s modular refinery initiative when it would come on board.
The commander spoke with newsmen shortly after the Navy had used Swamp buggies to crush a large span of illegal refineries site including their equipment in Uobodede Creek.
He commenced the use of Swamp buggies to crush illegal refineries on March 28, and the crackdown was expected to last for about one week.
Dewu said that the modular refinery policy of the government would go a long way in addressing the numerous illegal refineries that spread across the creeks of the Niger Delta region.
“The modular refinery that the Federal Government is trying to adopt is a welcome development.
“It will help us and help the illegal refineries owners, if they are sincere they will apply through the right channel to operate modular refinery.
“I think it will also reduce the number of illegal refineries we have in this area.
“They should desist from these illegalities because we are ready to crush all the illegal refineries in the Warri creeks in this exercise,” he said.
The Naval commander said that most of the equipment used by the criminals were heat resistance, adding that it was always easy for them to make use of the equipment after they had been set ablaze with the content.
“We have been carrying out operation to destroy illegal refineries and after two or three days because the materials they used are heat resistance, they come back to resuscitate the illegal refineries.
“For instance, this one that is being destroyed today, we were here two or three weeks ago to burn everything down after a week they came back and resuscitated everything.
“So, the use of Swamp buggies will bring a lasting solution to the illegal refineries by crushing and dismantling all their equipment because it will not be easy for them to start afresh,” he said.
The commodore said that the command would sustain its fight against illegal refineries with the use of Swamp buggies to crush and dismantled their facilities.