The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has sought more support of the Nigerian military in tackling crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other vices in Nigeria’s maritime environment.
At a meeting at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, between the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Gabriel Olonisakin and Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, the Defence Chief told the NNPC boss that the Armed Forces would interface with the Corporation to ensure that all the problems that the NNPC was facing got needed attention.
General Olonisakin noted that “already the Nigerian Navy has put up a lot of initiatives that will ensure that issues of pipeline vandalism, piracy and oil theft are addressed”.
He, however, pointed out that military needed some support in order to put a stop to oil bunkering and other forms of criminalities which cause Nigeria billions of Naira in revenue.
The CDS also said that it was the duty of the military to safeguard the strategic assets of the nation.
Earlier, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu had asked for Nigerian Armed Forces collaboration in the fight against oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other vices in the Nigeria maritime environment.
He said that his visit was predicated by the proposal of the NNPC to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to partner with the Army Corps of Engineers for pipeline maintenance and the overseeing of the security of its properties.
The visit, he said was part of the efforts to work out modalities under the CDS’ supervision to have the military protecting NNPC’s equipment and assets.
He explained that the NNPC was evolving a holistic attitude aimed at making sure that the best manpower is 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,” he said.
Dr Kachikwu revealed that crude theft last year was in excess of 250,000 barrels on the average daily which is basically 1/5 of the entire national production.
He pointed out that the ugly trend had reduced since he came on board as the new GMD of the NNPC, but admitted that a lot more still required to be done to finally curb the menace.
At the meeting were the Principal Staff Officers and Directors of the Defence Headquarters.