Lawmakers laud NSCDC boss for commitment to protect critical infrastructure, pledge support in fighting Oil theft

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By Palma Ileye

House of Representatives Members and Chairman of the Special Ad hoc Committee on Oil theft, Hon. Ado Doguwa; has commended the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi for providing veritable leadership to the Corps.

According to a press release issued by the Corp’s Spokesperson CSC Babawale Afolabi, Doguwa noted that under Audi led administration, there has been innumerable achievements in combating oil theft through arrests of suspects for illegally oil dealings, pipeline vandalism, destruction of illegal local refineries amongst others.

Representing the Committee Chairman was his deputy, Hon Sasi Oluwaseun Whingan said that the commitment of the CG in delivering on the Corps Mandate despite his enormous tasks was worthy of note.

He further hinted that crude oil theft has become a worrisome challenge hence all stakeholders must work assiduously to eradicate the menace which has negatively affected the nation’s economy.

Speaking at the NSCDC National Headquarters during a courtesy visit alongside 8 other members of the committee; the Honourable House of Representatives member affirmed that Nigeria’s National Security Strategy, NNSS, document 2019 assigned the responsibility of protecting critical national assets to the NSCDC and as such the Corps as the lead agency in this regards must design technological approach to safeguarding the CNAI with the support of all critical stakeholders.

Oluwaseun decried the non-functional 5,000 kilometres oil pipeline and closure of some companies due to Oil theft as spelt out by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Alhaji Mele Kyari and the Presidential Special Investigative Panel on Oil theft/losses in Nigeria.

While assuring the CG of the lawmakers’ support in fulfilment of the NSCDC mandate, he charged the Corps to develop a comprehensive review of the sector, audit and evaluation of risk assessment urging that the NSCDC must continue to collaborate with security agencies and reputable stakeholders to sustain CNAI protection and designate roles and responsibilities to all stakeholders.

In his response, the CG appreciated the visit of the committee which he described as a fact-finding mission to affirm the true state of the Corps.

Audi relayed that the NSCDC has been making extraordinary impacts in the discharge of its statutory mandate in protecting CNAI with the support of the Military and other stakeholders.

He said the National Security Document 2019 page 28, explained the NSCDC’s Prosecutorial powers to arrest, investigate and in addition, prosecute suspects for their involvement in oil theft.

The NSCDC boss noted that while carrying out the anti-vandalism war across the nation, over 600 suspects have been arrested while over 200 of them have been prosecuted according to the extant laws in the last two years.

He however appealed to the members of the House of Representatives to consider an increase in budgetary allocation of the Corps to assist in the procurement of a Ballistic Super Water Resistant Boat as this would help in combating the menace and conspiracy of the oil cartels.

“The Corps in its renewed vigour has developed both Kinetic and non-kinetic approaches and measures as response mechanisms to emerging situations so far; let me further express assurances that such measures put in place would enhance positivity just like the recent arrest of 23 suspects in 3000 Metric Tone capacity Vessel while on a joint operations with Tantitta Surveillance Security Company,” he said.