The Nigerian Navy says it has discovered 30 new illegal refineries with combined capacity to produce about four million litres of petroleum products daily.
Capt. Victor Choji, the Executive Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, said this during the destruction of one of the illegal refineries on Thursday.
He said all the illegal refineries were discovered in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers with 40 huge metallic storage tanks .
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the storage tanks were filled with petroleum products suspected to be diesel and crude oil.
According to Choji, the discovery was in continuation of the current mop-up of illegal refineries and illicit bunkering of petroleum products by crude oil thieves.
“The discovery was in compliance with the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas strategic directive to rid Rivers of all forms of maritime illegalities.
“Following this directive, troops started an onslaught and discovered the very heart of the production line and infrastructure of illegal bunkering at Iyalama community in Asari Toru LGA of Rivers.
“The 30 refineries have capacity to refine between three to four million litres of diesel daily – which is quite massive.
What is our diesel consumption per day…be it as it may..had the standards been regulated and quality is ok..this will save $1.75m/day. Lets legalise,improve and regulate these refineries