The military said shortage of gunboats and fast-assault craft were partly responsible for increased crude oil theft.
The Nigerian government’s effort at combating oil theft using the
military has been undermined by the lack of necessary fighting
equipment, a senior military official said Sunday.
Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Army Division Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Adebayo
Olaniyi, said the shortage of gunboats and fast-assault craft were
partly responsible for increased oil theft in the Niger Delta Region.
GOC made the disclosure to newsmen in Port Harcourt after an
operational tour of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sector-Two operation
formations in Rivers.
Mr. Olaniyi said the tour had enabled him to
better access the troop’s readiness to combat oil theft and meet with
stakeholders to discuss ways of improving JTF’s operations.
said shortage of gunboats and fast assault crafts had weighed down the
military’s renewed strategy to effectively patrol creeks round the
“If the JTF had adequate gunboats and fast assault crafts;
it will improve our patrol and monitoring of the creeks, as well as
guarantee quick response of our troops to reported crime scenes,” he
“Constant patrols and monitoring of the creeks will
discourage oil thieves and pipeline vandals from perpetrating their
nefarious activities of sabotaging the economy of the country.
these facilities were sufficiently provided by the government; the
efficiency and proficiency of our troops in policing the creeks will
witness significant improvement.
“Communities can also assist the
JTF by providing us timely information that will lead to the arrest of
oil thieves so as to discourage youth involvement in illegal oil
bunkering activities,” he said.
Mr. Olaniyi said the fight against
oil theft was the responsibility of Nigerians, irrespective of their
class, to ensure economic growth and prosperity of the country.
said any soldier or officer found complicit in oil theft, will be
severely dealt with in accordance with the Army Code of Conduct.
GOC held meetings with the officials of Pipeline and Product Marketing
Company (PPMC), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of
Nigeria (IPMAN) , amongst others.
Meanwhile, three persons
suspected to be kingpins behind re-occurring rupturing of pipelines in
Rivers were arrested and paraded before reporters.
said the suspects where trailed and arrested by troops from the 2
Brigade Sector-Two of the JTF Operation Pulo Shield command.
to him, the suspects have made confessional statements of regular
puncture of pipelines and investigation is still ongoing to unravel
their sponsors and partners.
Mr. Olaniyi said that repair works had commenced on the damaged pipeline facilities to ensure increase in crude oil production.
level of oil producing companies will soon increase due to JTF renewed
strategy and commitment towards the elimination of oil theft and illegal
oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta Region,” he said.