Army Restates Commitment To Fight Oil Thieves

Army Restates Commitment To Fight Oil Thieves
Soldiers and people carrying machetes ride on the back of a vehicle along a street in Gombe January 30, 2015.

The military has assured the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that more efforts would be put in place to curb oil theft in the country.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, gave this assurance when the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, paid him a courtesy visit at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

He assured that the Armed Forces would interface with the Corporation  to ensure that all the problems militating in the NNPC are given  optimum attention.

Olonisakin noted that the Nigerian Navy had put up a lot of initiatives at ensuring that the issue of pipeline vandalism, piracy and oil theft were addressed.

The Chief of Defence Staff asserted that military need some support in order to put a stop to oil bunkering and other forms of criminalities which caused Nigeria billions of Naira in revenue.

“It is the duty of  the military to safeguard the strategic assets of the nation,” Olonisakin said.

Kachikwu said the visit to the Defence Headquarters was part of the efforts to work out modalities under the Chief of Defence Staff supervision to have the  military protecting NNPC’s equipment and assets.

He pointed out that the NNPC is evolving a holistic attitude aimed at making sure that the best manpower was used.

“We are trying to equip the Navy a lot more with boats for patrols; we are trying to get trackers and central system to be able to monitor every vessel that comes in and out of the country. We have equally spoken with the Chief  of Air Staff (CAS) on other effective way of collaboration,” Kachikwu said.

He revealed that crude theft last year was in excess of 250 000 barrels on the average daily and a lot more needed to be done to finally curb the menace

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