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Oil theft: Reps to create law for security firms to protect facilities

Oil theft: Reps to create law for security firms to protect facilities
February 10
15:45 2024

Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, chairman of the house of representatives’ special committee on oil theft and losses, says the lawmakers would consider the participation of private security outfits in protecting the country’s oil and gas facilities.

Ado-Doguwa said this when he led chairmen of other oil and gas-related committees for an on-the-spot assessment of vessels arrested by a private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, in collaboration with security agencies in Delta state for stealing crude oil in Bayelsa State.

On February 7, Tantita and the military arrested the vessel conveying about 80,000 litres of ‘stolen products’ suspected to be crude oil in Bayelsa.

Also on the assessment visit were committees on host communities, Niger Delta, petroleum resource (upstream), petroleum resources (midstream), gas resources and petroleum resources (training fund).

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The lawmaker commended the security firm for doing a good job in protecting oil installations in the Niger Delta which has led to improved production.

“We will also see to the possibility of creating a legal framework where these private institutions like Tantita would be allowed not only on the shallow waters but even to go and operate in the high seas, the deep waters to see how they can protect our assets, to see how they can fight seriously against oil theft and this kind of vandalisation that has continued to effect adversely the development of our economy,” Ado-Doguwa said.

“The economy is around the oil sector, and we must have to do whatever is needed to protect our oil assets and to protect these very particular areas so that we would continue to catch up with the quota accorded to us by OPEC which is the most important thing. We must do that because it is only when you do that you can be able to generate the desired revenue, the desired resources to develop the country. And reduce pressure on the naira. So many other things. I want to say on behalf of the committee, we have seen very good work done by Tantita.

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“We have also seen a very good work being done by our security agencies, Nigerian army, the Navy and Civil Defence, doing their very best and on our own part we will continue to now create a better performing environment for them to see to the protection of our oil assets.”

Ado-Doguwa said the house is concerned about the unabating spate of crude oil theft and crisis prevalent over the country, adding the lower chamber would seek more ways to partner with these private security firms.

“I want to tell you that we are all out to see increased production of our oil and gas industry in the country. One of the major challenges we are facing is about production, increased production. In the recent stakeholder meeting, we have had with the minister of the economy, the issue has always been about increased production,” he said.

“No matter what oil would be in the future, at least we are not sure of the fact that it remains the live wire of the economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a continuous crisis like this where you have issues of theft, vandalization of pipelines and a lot of other crisis around the oil-producing states, is of serious concern to the national assembly and particularly to this committee which has a special mandate to over these unfortunate happenings of the shores of our producing states.

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“And by what we have seen today, we have seen a complete sense of determination, a complete sense of commitment by the security agencies alongside with the private support and commitment of the private company we call Tantita. Tantita is one good company that is doing well for the nation. We have seen how much Tantita has done in trying to protect our oil assets.

“In this regard, this committee would like to say a very big thank you to him on behalf of the people of Nigeria and on behalf of members of the house of representatives, and we would continue to do the best we can in terms of partnership, in terms of collaborating with some of these civil security organizations, the Nigerians security agencies also we collaborate and partner with them to see how we can promote our oil assets around the creeks. This would involve not only creating the enabling environment. We also try to review surveillance intelligence operations and structures around our oil assets.”

On his part, Fred Agbedi, chairman of the oil committee on oil theft, also expressed the commitment of the lawmakers to tackle the recurrent problem of crude oil theft.

He also lauded the security outfit for their efforts in securing oil and gas facilities and promised to ensure they get more support to do more.

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