FG commissions 30 gunboats to combat oil theft

By Post Nigeria March 25, 2015 09:33

FG commissions 30 gunboats to combat oil theft

In its efforts to tackle pipeline vandalism and other oil-related thefts, the Federal Government through the Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh has commissioned 30 gunboats procured for the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, to enable them curb the menace in the region.

Badeh in his remarks on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital warned criminals involved in the act to desist from it in their own interest, saying that the Federal Government would no longer condone any crude oil losses or the criminal act.

He explained that the innovation was aimed at assisting the Niger Delta JTF also known as Operation Pulo Shield in its war against oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the region.

The nation’s economy has suffered immeasurable loses with the increase in attacks on oil pipelines as the nation records about 100,000 barrels of crude oil at the estimated cost of N1.18 billion per day , amounting to N433.62 billion a year to oil saboteurs.

The Defence Boss stressed that the purchase of the gunboats had added momentum to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies campaigning against oil theft and pipeline vandalism in Nigeria.

Badeh said, “Aside from curtailing oil theft, these boats would come in very handy during the forthcoming 2015 polls as the troops would use these boats to dominate the creeks as a warning to would be trouble makers.”

He added that the fight in the North-East against the Boko Haram insurgents was gaining impetus and achieving the desired results.

Badeh acknowledged the readiness on the part of the Nigerian Armed forces especially the Nigerian Navy, to wage war against the oil saboteurs adding that the gunboats will go a long way in achieving the set goals.

Uduaghan, while condemning the high level of sabotage, urged traditional rulers, youths and community heads to cooperate with JTF in tackling the menace in the creeks

The Delta State Governor also called on international community to cooperate with Nigerian government in tackling crude oil thefts.

On his part, Governor Seriake Dickson lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for his support to the JTF in Niger Delta as he called on the people of the state to come out en masse to vote for Jonathan in the forthcoming polls.