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Oil theft: Reps committee engages Navy on effective policing of pipelines, other critical assets

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The House of Representatives’ Special Committee on Crude Oil Theft on Friday met with the Chief of Naval Staff to strategize on collaborative initiatives for effective policing of pipelines and other critical assets in the oil and gas industry with the overall goal to tackle the menace of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The Chairman of the Committee, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, who led the committee on the visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian Navy, reiterated the commitment of the lawmakers to President Bola Tinubu’s government’s efforts to turn around the economy through the oil and gas sector.

Doguwa, who is also the Chairman of the House’s Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), emphasized the need to review the legal frameworks to enhance the effective performance of the security agencies in their operational activities on shore and in the hinterlands.

The chairman also hinted at a “possible consideration for improved funding for the Navy to enhance their policing duties in defending and protecting our critical assets in the oil and gas industry.

“We appreciate the good works the men and officers of the Nigerian Navy and other 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 recognize that there is still a room for more because Nigeria is still losing more to the illegal activities of vandals and crude oil thefts.

“This is why the Honorable Speaker, House of Representatives Rt. Honourable Tajudeen Abbas has set up this committee in a bid to address one of the threats to the nation’s economy. This, 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,” Doguwa said.

Responding, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, appreciated the committee for its efforts and agreed to cooperate with the committee to deliver on its legislative mandate.

The CNS, however, expressed concerns over delayed judicial processes of arrested culprits, which he believes has not encouraged the efforts the Navy and sister forces and security agencies have been putting into securing the nation’s economy.

He urged the committee to create an enabling legal framework that will harmonize the activities of the government security agencies with private security organizations with a view to achieving desired results.

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