SKILL –The Nigerian Army Engineering Corps to take over pipelines surveillance.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Security Agencies have pledged to deploy drone technology in order to stem crude and petroleum products theft across the country.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Ibe Kachikwu, stated this during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin in the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Mr. Kachikwu said, in a statement, that “the deployment of the drone technology has become imperative due to the huge loss of crude and petroleum products to oil thieves noting that the time has come for the Corporation and the Nigerian security agencies to adopt technological strategies to curb the menace.”
He stated further that due to the high incidences of pipeline vandalism, the Corporation cannot pump crude and petroleum products through its network of pipelines across the country noting that crude theft is in excess of 250,000 barrels per day which represents one fifth of daily production.
“The renewed collaboration would enable the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps take over the pipelines surveillance from the Nigeria Police Force stressing that the Engineering Corps would also be saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the pipelines. The NNPC is willing to equip the Nigerian Navy with state-of-the-art boats that would enable it track and monitor every oil bearing vessel that comes in and out of the Nigeria water ways,” he said.
The NNPC helmsman noted that unless the trend of incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism is reversed, the amount of resources lost is so massive that it is now an emergency to deploy every weapon in our arsenal to battle the scourge.
In his response, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, expressed the readiness of the Nigerian military to support the NNPC to secure its oil installations across the country stressing that the NNPC and the Nigerian military are all critical stakeholders in the project called Nigeria.
General Olonisakin assured that the collaboration would bring to an end the issue of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism within the shortest possible time.