Nigerian soldiers are to take over the security of the nation’s oil pipelines.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, who said this in a statement on Tuesday, added that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, met with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, on how to work out modalities to get the military to protect the strategic national assets.
He quoted the NNPC’s GMD as having said that he visited the CDS as a follow up to a proposal the corporation presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, to have the Army Corps of Engineering to maintain and secure the nation’s pipelines.
Abubakar also quoted the NNPC’s GMD as having said that the corporation was taking a holistic step to ensure that the best hands were used to protect the pipelines.
He said that the NNPC was also engaging the services of the Navy and the Air Force in collaborative efforts to secure the nation’s pipelines and to prevent the theft of the country’s oil.
Abubakar said that Kachikwu solicited for the support of the CDS in the fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other maritime crime.
He was said to have told the CDS that the NLC was making moves to procure more boats for the Navy for patrol operations and trackers for the monitoring of vessels coming into the country.
Kachikwu was also quoted as saying that the NNPC had also reached out to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, on the issue.
“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 on other effective ways of collaboration,” he was quoted as having said.
The NNPC’s GMD was said to have told the CDS that the country was losing 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day which was one-fifth of the total production in the country.
Kachikwu, who called for more efforts to address the incident of crude of theft, said that the ugly trend had reduced since he became the GMD of the NNPC.