By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu has sought for more military collaboration in securing Nigeria’s oil pipeline.
A statement by the Acting Director, Defense Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, explained that the Group Managing Director(GMD) said this, when he visited the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin on how to work out modalities involving the military in protecting Nigeria’s strategic assets.
The statement quoted the NNPC’s GMD to have said his visit to the CDS was a follow up to a proposal of the corporation to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to partner the Army Corps of Engineers for pipeline maintenance and security; pointing out that, the corporation was taking a holistic step to ensure that the best hands were used to protect the pipelines.
It also added that, NNPC would be engaging the services of the Navy and Air Force in a collaborative effort in the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other maritime crime.
“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.”
Dr. Kachikwu also revealed that last year, the country lost 250,000 barrels on the average, daily, which is basically one-fifth of the total national production; adding that the ugly trend had reduced since he became the GMD of the NNPC, but admitted also that, a lot more still required to be done to finally curb the menace.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel 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 explained that military needed some support in order to put a stop to oil bunkering and other forms of criminalities which Nigeria lost billions to it; emphasizing that, it was the duty of the military to safeguard Nigeria’s strategic assets.