NNPC, Navy Move to Stem Oil Theft
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Navy have pledged deeper collaboration to tackle crude oil theft and attacks on oil and gas facilities.
The two bodies came to the resolution when the NNPC GMD, Malam Mele Kyari, paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
In a press statement released by the corporation’s spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, it was noted that Mr Kyari expressed gratitude to the Navy for its efforts at securing the nation’s oil and gas facilities in the creeks and deepwater.
He said while the intervention of the Navy had restored sanity to the system, there was need to do more as crude oil theft was still a potent reality in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Mr Kyari added that NNPC was ready to support the Navy in any initiative it could come up with to further check the menace which rose to 77 percent in recent times, have serious implications and remained a heavy impediment on the nation’s revenue.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ekwe-Ibas, on his part, said the Navy was currently working at integrating its system with those of other maritime operators such as the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to facilitate efficient operation.
He said the Navy had over 130 impounded vessels, some of which were laden with stolen crude oil and petroleum products.
Mr Ekwe-Ibas assured that the Navy would live up to its mandate and work towards ending all forms of criminality in the nation’s territorial waters.
He further confirmed that the government was addressing some of Navy’s operational challenges, adding that the NNPC’s intervention would also be vital.