NEC approves N15bn to protect oil installations

NEC approves N15bn to protect oil installations
… As NLNG donates 7 gunboat engines to JTF

The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved the disbursement of N15 billion to security agencies to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta region over a period of one year.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Rear-Adm. John Jonah (rtd), made the disclosure to State House correspondents last Thursday after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Jonah said that NEC approval was sequel to a report presented by the Adhoc committee of NEC on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control with all governors from Niger Delta region as members.
He said that the fund would be sourced through a tripartite arrangement involving, federal and state governments and international oil companies.

“What we are trying to do is to ensure that we buy the necessary equipment for them to perform their duty in the areas that we have identified gaps.
“We also want to make sure that more personnel are available. The terrain is a very difficult one, swampy terrain is a very difficult one.
“In one of the lines between Nembe and Brass, we are told that there are about 150 bunkering points and those vandalised by crude oil thieves, we are in the process of repairing those one,” Jonah said.
He disclosed that with the pro-active measures put in place by the committee, there had been a steady increase in oil production.

Oil production, according to him, as at Thursday had stabilised at 2.4 million barrels per day, as against a 1.7 million barrels daily production few months back.
He explained that ripple effects of vandalised pipelines were that most of the oil was allowed to spill into the ocean and subsequent stoppage of production.
“Not all the crude oils are stolen when the lines are vandalised. When the lines are broken, if you try to pump, you pump into the sea, so, oil companies will not produce under that condition.

“Once you cannot produce you cannot sell it, but a lot of repairs have been made and we are making sure that the levels we are now is sustained,” he said.
Jonah also said that the committee was working out measures for prosecution of crude oil vandals and thieves in line with relevant laws.
Meanwhile, the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta has reiterated its determination to fight oil theft in the area.
The Commander, 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and JTF Sector 2, Brig.-Gen. Osasogie Uzamere, made the declaration when he took delivery of three new horsepower engines gunboats in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The engines were donated by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG).
Uzamere said that NLNG donated four fairly-used units of 200 horsepower gunboat engines to the JTF Sub-sector 5, the 146 Battalion of the Army, in Bonny Island, Rivers.
He said that shortage of gunboats and fast-assault craft had slowed down their renewed strategy to effectively patrol the creeks.
“The delivery of seven 200 horsepower gunboats will speed up response of soldiers to reported crime scenes, and thereby improve the efficiency of our troops in policing waterways and creeks.

“The delivery of seven 200 horsepower gunboats will speed up response of soldiers to reported crime scenes, and thereby improve the efficiency of our troops in policing waterways and creeks.
“We are optimistic that the delivery of this equipment will enable us to effectively pursue our mandate to eliminate sea piracy, illegal bunkering and oil theft in the country.
“Over the past few months, some organisations have also provided the 2 Brigade with gunboats, fast-assault crafts and radio accessories which had boosted our operations,” Uzamere said.
He thanked NLNG for its support and appealed to other corporate organisations to assist the JTF with the requisite equipment and logistics in its fight against oil theft in the region.
He also urged the people to continue to provide the JTF with information that would lead to the arrest of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
The Manager Corporate Security Services of NLNG, Dr Ahmed Acida, said that the donation became necessary to curb the negative impact of oil theft on the nation’s economy.
The company, according to him, was optimistic the equipment would improve the operations of the JTF in the Niger Delta.