By Nathan Nwakamma
The Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta on Monday said it averted 1,291 attacks on three crude export pipelines from January 2019 to date.
The outgone Commander of JTF, retired Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, disclosed this while handing over to the new Commander, Rear Admiral Aminu Hassan in Yenegoa.
He said that a total of 1,603 sabotage incidents were reported on the export trunk lines under his watch in the last two years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pipelines, Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) and Trans Escravos Pipelines (TEP) are operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
He explained that the joint force achieved the feat through kinetic and non-kinetic operations which created a conducive environment for the oil and gas Industry which is the key mandate of the outfit.
“For instance, from January 2019 to date, the JTF averted 1,291 out of 1,603 of the attempted infractions on SPDC major export lines that is Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) and Trans Escravos Pipelines (TEP).
“The number of aversions accounts for 85 per cent of the total attempts.
“These efforts have ensured that major export pipelines, marginal and infield lines are 97 per cent available and functional which facilitate the evacuation of crude oil and gas to designated export terminals.
“The Force demobilized about 2,859 illegally refinery sites, over 4,812 storage facilities, 905 Cotonou boats and other illegal bunkering ancillaries.
“Also, more than 681 suspected oil thieves, 38 vessels, 44 barges, 38 trucks and other vehicles were also arrested and impounded.
“Additionally, about 51,078.32MT of stolen crude oil and 57,114.146MT of illegally refined products were handled appropriately,” he said.
According to him, the JTF demobilised 297 militant camps and recovered about 121 assorted weapons.
The taskforce, he said, also amicably resolved about 158 Corporate Social Responsibility-related disputes involving oil firms notably SEEPCO, SPDC, AITEO, NECONDE and NAOC with their host communities.
The outgone commander in a farewell interaction with troops advised them to be committed to duty and aspire to serve the country with unblemished record
Speaking shortly after taking over, the new Commander of JTF lauded Akinrinade, who he described as his mentor, adding that he would strive to sustain the tempo already achieved.
“The highlighted achievements of the Joint Force under your watch are quite overwhelming. This can only be attributed to the laudable leadership, professionalism and experience you brought to bear as a Commander
“It looks intricate for us to surpass these achievements, but we will do our best to maintain the standard you already established.
“Accordingly, I will always call on you whenever the need arises for advice and wise counselling during my tour of duty as the Comd OPDS. I am sure your doors will always be open for me as they have always been,” Hassan said.
NAN further reports that the occasion was witnessed by Land Component Commander and GOC, 6 Division, Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, Maj-Gen. Sani amongst other Component Commanders and Senior Officers. (NAN)