The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently working with the Nigerian Air Force to deploy drones for monitoring oil pipelines in the Niger Delta and beyond.
Abubakar Rabe, director defence information, who made the revelation, said the Nigerian military are seeking out the most cost-effective measures to protect pipelines.
In an interview with Osasu Igbinedion of The Osasu Show, the brigadier-general said the defence headquarters is in a strategic liaison with the NNPC on the deployment of drones
“The issue of drone, the air component of the air force, which is primarily under the control of the defence headquarters, is working round the clock. They are coming up with strategies in liaison with NNPC to know how best they could process the drones if need be,” he said.
“If there is any alternative arrangement which could be more effective and more cost-effective, then the armed forces is definitely ready to do that.
“The insurgents are all over the place, the naval officers and personnel, the air force, army and other security agencies are there. So you cannot in anyway begin to think of impossibilities in this kind of thing.”
Abubakar added that pending the deployment, in conjunction with NNPC, the defence headquarters would make do with ground troops.
“We must make sure that it is possible to achieve whatever we want to achieve because this is our country; if we cannot do it nobody will do it for us and we all agreed here.
“The minister of state for petroleum was here in our headquarters and we all deliberated on how to come up with a simple and cost effective strategy on how to survey this our pipeline and I believe it has been working on.
“The only thing is we are yet to, so to speak, deploy the drones but I say before we do that, the armed forces are there for now. The ground troops are there.
“You see, this is an era of information technology. We have simple technologies that can take care of all these things but we must have physical strength, the personnel must be there to ensure that no physical person comes around and inflicts any harm to the pipeline where by it is located.
“Remember we have over 50 thousand pipelines in this country connecting to all parts of this country. So it’s a huge effort and I believe it is not going to be too hard to do with the current technology, physical security and our commitment to this our nation. I believe we can achieve whatever we want to achieve within a short time; with cost effectiveness, we will get to where we are going and get results.”