Oil theft allegations against CNS “fallacious and baseless” – Oil Producing States Association


By Abiodun OBA


Allegations of oil theft against the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, published by an online medium recently are said to be “fallacious and baseless”.

The Oil Producing States Progressives Association which asserted that the allegations were an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing efforts to combat oil theft and bunkering activities in oil-producing states, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to dismiss the claims, adding that they were an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing efforts to combat oil theft and bunkering activities in oil-producing states.

The national president of the association, Tamunor Charles Wokne, said in a statement: ”We wish to inform the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard such fallacious and baseless publication for lack of fact.

“The said publication was an attempt to distract Mr. President and the Nigerian security forces in their reinvigorated fight against oil theft and bunkering activities in the oil-producing states which the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fighting with great success.

“When President Bola Tinubu assumed office in May 2023, Nigeria’s daily crude oil production, including condensates, reached 1,430,146 barrels and as the war on crude oil theft intensifies, the following month, in June 2023, this output rose to 1,499,416 barrels per day. September 2023 marked a significant milestone for the year, as Nigeria achieved its highest production thus far, hitting 1,572,315 barrels per day.

“While the Chief of Naval Staff and other heads of the sister security agencies continue to fight oil theft and oil bunkerers without any form of compromised negotiations; the chances are that Nigeria’s daily oil production under the current administration can hit the projected plan of Mr President’s target of 2 million barrels per day. This is what the oil thieves and economic saboteurs are fighting to subvert today.

“The fight against crude oil thefts under the leadership of the current Chief of Navas Staff has resulted in improved revenue to the tune of billions of naira. In December 2023, Anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB Igbokoda intercepted MT Vinnalaris with 15,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil with 17 crew members arrested.

“The Nigerian Navy made another breakthrough on November 8 when they intercepted another vessel MV Mother Gabrini attempting to take delivery of 15,237 Metric tonnes of crude oil with fake document in Bony, River State.

“Earlier in October 2023, the Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Pathfinder, in Port Harcourt, destroyed a three million litres capacity illegal refinery in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State. The illegal refinery comprising six refining camps is located within Cawthorne Channel 2 on the coast of the state. The facility allegedly steals crude oil from a wellhead in Oil Mining Lease-18 operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited and Sahara Energy.

“The Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Desmond Igbo, who conducted newsmen around the illegal refinery at the time expressed annoyance that the suspected oil thieves were steadily sabotaging the nation’s economy Equally, troops of the Nigerian Army, in collaboration with operatives of the Tantita Security Services Limited and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, in December arrested a vessel with 15,775 litres of crude oil/ illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil from illegal bunkering in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.

“On January 18, 2024, the Nigerian Army, 6th Division Port Harcourt uncovered yet another illegal refining camp with the capacity of 2.8million litres of crude oil, in a forest within Odagwa community, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“The General Officer Commanding, 6th Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Jamal Abdussalam, at the scene of incident, noted that the illegal refinery has 49 boilers for crude oil processing and 14 large reservoirs with 200,000 litres of crude oil each, amounting to 2.8 million litres.

“The efforts by the Chief of Naval Staff in collaboration with other sister security agencies in the fight against oil thefts have no doubt yielded great results, thus, the campaign of calumny and bad publicity by the economic saboteurs and the agents of oil thieves to distract him.

“The NNPCL CEO, Mele Kyari said in December 2023 that crude oil production has increased to 1.6m bpd, the figure upon which the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries declared Nigeria as the Highest Crude Oil Producing country in Africa.”

The group urged the CNS and President Tinubu ”not to be distracted but to stay focused in the sustained and vigorous fights against crude oil thieves and their collaborators in the overall good of the country.”

“We members of the Oil Producing States Progressives Association stand strongly behind you and we’ll continue to give you the necessary support in your efforts to rid our country of the evil activities of oil thieves and economic saboteurs,” the association stated.

© 2024, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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