The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, has expressed concerns over the delay in the prosecution of suspected crude oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

He appealed to the National Assembly to create a legal framework to harmonise government-owned security agencies with private security firms for optimal results.

In January, the Nigerian Army said it destroyed 233 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region and arrested 112 suspected oil thieves in 2023.

Reports have it that there has been a heightened onslaught against oil theft in the country following an ultimatum given to the service chiefs in June by President Bola Tinubu.

Ogalla canvassed the speedy trial of suspected oil thieves on Friday when he received the House of Representatives Special Committee on Crude Oil Theft in Abuja.

The committee, led by its chairman, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, pledged to play its part in the President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s quest to revamp the oil and gas sector in the country.

A statement on Sunday by Ado-Doguwa’s media team quoted him as saying: “We appreciate the good work the men and officers of the Nigerian Navy and sister forces and security agencies have been doing to secure our pipelines to make sure that the country gets good value for our mineral resources, but we recognise that there is still a room for more because Nigeria is still losing a lot to the illegal activities of vandals and crude oil thieves.

“This is why the Honorable Speaker Tajudeen Abbas has set up this committee to address one of the threats to the nation’s economy. Thus, the committee’s primary objective of determining the proximate and remote causes of oil theft and recommending remedial measures to the parliament, means it has to engage with critical stakeholders like the Navy.”

February 19, 2024

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