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February 27, 2024
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The Convener of the network, Mr Bala Mohammed (2nd Right) during the news conference

Oil theft: Northern group lauds Kyari’s move to engage private security

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By Angela Atabo/Diana Omueza

The Northern Youth Progressive Network has lauded Malam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), over his plans to engage private outfit to guard nation’s oil facilities against theft.

The Convener of the network, Mr Bala Mohammed, said this at a news conference on safeguarding of the nation’s critical oil infrastructure in Abuja on Monday.

Mohammed said that the spate of oil theft in the country had become worrisome and there was need to address it headlong.

He commended Nigerian security outfits that had been working to curtail oil theft, adding that the private security outfit would provide more support.

“The Northern Youth Progressive Network expresses our strong support for the decision of our leader Malam Mele for thinking outside the box and engaging the services of private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria limited.

“Importantly also, we salute President Bola Tinubu for renewing the contract engagement. We only had thought that it will be expanded to cover the entire Niger-Delta.

“We consider the decision of Malam Mele Kyari as patriotic and noble just like the decision of late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua who granted amnesty to Niger- Delta militant that provided a lasting solution to the crisis in the Niger-Delta.

“We are optimistic that the engagement of Tantita Security services Nigeria limited, will bring a permanent solution to the issue of oil theft in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that the Niger Delta played a crucial role in Nigeria’s economy being home to significant oil and gas reserves.

He said to this end, the infrastructure that supported the extraction, production, and transportation of the resources was of utmost importance to the nation’s overall stability and prosperity.

“ However, we have witnessed a series of attacks, sabotage, and vandalism directed towards these critical oil infrastructures, leading to immense economic losses and disruptions.

“We also acknowledge that sustainable development in the Nigerian state is interconnected with the security of oil infrastructures.

“ It is imperative that we address the underlying issues that contribute to attacks on these facilities, such as community grievances, environmental concerns, and socio- economic challenges,” he said.

Mohammed, therefore, called on the Tantita Security Operations to work in tandem with comprehensive development initiatives to prioritise the welfare and well-being of the local communities.

He also stressed the need to curb oil spillage which had devastating consequences on the livelihoods of local communities, particularly those dependent on fishing and farming.

He said that the loss of means of sustenance had led to economic hardships and food insecurity in the Niger Delta in spite of being a region rich in natural resources.

He called on the Federal Government not to undermine the genuine commitment of Tantita Security Services over the years as they had been able to arrest Mt Kali vessel at the Pennington oil platform in Bayelsa and several others.

Mohammed said that the Tantita security services had also done well by protecting Nigeria’s national assets in the oil sector which was evident in the increase in crude oil output from 500 thousand barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day.

“Our position is that there must be arrest, prosecution confiscation of assets both in liquid and valuables to serve as deterrence to those who are hell bent in economy sabotage no matter whose ox is gore,’’he said.

Mohammed called on the government to demonstrate the political will in the fight against oil theft in Nigeria by prosecuting those investigated by Tantita Security Services and make the investigation public.

“As representatives of the most critical youth structure in the North, we recognise the vital role that secure and functional oil infrastructures play in our nation’s development.

“The revenue generated from the oil and gas sector drives economic growth, funds critical social programmes, and provides employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians.

“So protecting these infrastructures is not only crucial for the region but for the entire country,’’he said.(NAN)(www.nannews,ng)

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Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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