NLNG, Nigerian Navy partner to curb oil theft

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NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA-JULY 2009-In Bolo creek, the villagers are bunkering the oil from Shell facilities and refining it to sell it on the black market. Around 30 to 40 illegal refineries can be found all over the creek. The strong presence of the militants is keeping away the army and the police allowing the villagers to work freely. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/ Getty Images)

By Paul Obi in Abuja

The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and the Nigerian Navy have formulated new modalities to fight piracy, and oil theft within the nation’s maritime territory and economic belt zone.

Speaking at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLGN, Mr. Tony Attah, explained that the provision of security by the navy within the Bonny Channel would go a long way to strengthen the protection of Nigeria’s economic belt zone.

He maintained that “the incidence of piracy and sea robbery attacks on ships in the Bonny area had reduced drastically as a result of the Nigerian Navy’s patrol activities.

“The riverine environment had generally become volatile due to the activities of cultist and other miscreants,” a situation, he said, had somehow affected multinationals in the area.

Attah who was accompanied by the NLNG Deputy Managing Director, Mr Sadeeq A Mai Bornu, Manager-Corporate Security Service, Mr Samson Aiyejuro and Senior Security Adviser, Mr Kabiru Aminu, commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, for the assistance which the Nigerian Navy has continually provided in support of the NLNG’s operations in Bonny and along the Bonny Channel.

Speaking, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibas, stated that the increased use of surveillance systems as well as Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) infrastructure in support of Nigerian Navy’s operations which have enormously enhanced Nigeria’s maritime security architecture.

Ibas acknowledged that “there were still some shadow zones or blind spots along the Nigerian coastline, stating that the Nigerian Navy had made representation to the Rivers State government for land to accommodate more MDA facilities.”

He said the Nigerian Navy has essentially had to expand its maritime operations into the backwaters in order to forestall other mutations of maritime crimes like crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism as well as sea robbery within the coastal areas and waters ways.

The CNS stated that the average transit time of two hours between Onne Port and Bonny has in the past hampered Nigerian Navy’s response capability to incidence of maritime crime in Bonny and would be desirable to have some jetty facilities for Nigerian Navy Ships in Bonny.

The CNS charged the NLNG team to proactively handle community relations in the Bonny area in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in order to forestall restiveness and community agitations.

Ibas added that for the Nigerian Navy to effectively carry out her duties, there was the need to improved channel conservancy in Nigeria waters through dredging and buoyage.

He noted that the Escravos channel had recorded several grounding of ships in the last few months and was optimistic that this would be addressed by the Nigerian Ports Authority. ThisDay

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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