By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged support to the Presidential Committee on Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution of Vessels and Persons in Nigeria’s Maritime Environment (HSOP) to tackle the menace of oil theft and other criminal activities in the nation’s waters.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, who disclosed this when he received a delegation from the HSOP Committee led by its Alternate Chairman, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Shafi’i, in Abuja on Thursday, stated that the NNPC would provide all the necessary support to enable the committee carry out its mandate successfully in the best interest of the nation.
Mr Baru who was represented by the corporation’s Chief Operation Officer, Corporate Services, Mr Isa Inuwa, stated that the NNPC was interested in the Committee’s work for legal, reputational and environmental reasons.
“NNPC as the leader in the industry has many responsibilities in the committee’s work in the areas of providing leadership across the industry for the adoption, internalization and implementation of this standard operating procedures, to provide advocacy for changes to be made around legal provisions and policy frameworks of government as they affects criminal activities in the oil and gas industry and to provide resources for successful implementation of the committee’s mandate,” Mr Baru Said.
He said the task of the committee was very important to the corporation primarily because of the place of oil and gas in the Nigerian economy and more importantly for the fact that the NNPC has the mandate to manage government’s stake in the country’s oil and gas industry.
He explained that the corporation understood the importance and difficulty in implementing the committee’s mandate and assured them of support to surmount the challenge.
Speaking at the event, the leader of the visiting delegation, AVM Ibrahim Shafi’i stated that the purpose of the visit was to seek NNPC’s continuous support in the areas of capacity development.
He applauded the management of the NNPC for providing unwavering support and commitment to the success of the committee, adding that so far NNPC has given them the best contribution and representation.
AVM Shafi’i stated that the committee which cut across various ministries and agencies was inaugurated by the President Muhammadu Buhari in January this year to essentially seek the cooperation, collaboration and coordination of activities on issues relating to arrest, detention and prosecution of vessels and persons connected with the maritime environment.
He explained that the committee’s terms of reference was in line with the mandate of the African Union and ECOWAS Charter on integrated maritime safety and security in the African continent.
He described the NNPC’s role in the Committee as very critical, adding: “We will be counting on NNPC’s technical know-how to train and enhance our technical capability through specialized trainings, seminars and conferences”.
Members of the Committee are drawn from the NNPC, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Customs Service, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Environment, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
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