President Bola Tinubu on Monday commended Tantita Security Services Limited and the other security agencies for combating oil theft and hailed their collaborative efforts yeilding results.
Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Musa gave the commendation on behalf of the President while inspecting the impounded MT. Kali and paraded suspects by Tantita and other security agencies at Oporoza, Delta State.
The CDS flanked by top officials of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL and top military brass promised to deal ruthlessly with oil thieves and their sponsors.
He noted that the arrested vessel will be destroyed in line with standard practice to serve as deterrent to others.
Musa urged the media to stop creating disaffection between government and Private security agencies working together to achieve better results.
He said, “We are here based on the report of the arrest of this ship, and I think it’s a major achievement. It shows that we’re committed in ensuring that we stop this criminality within the maritime environment.
“This is a collaborative effort and it will continue to collaborate with the NNPC, the others, private security agencies, the main federal government agencies are also working together. I don’t want a situation where we create the impression as if there’s enmity between this group and that group.
“We’re working for the same team, we’re all Nigerians, this is our country. Whatever is happening here is an act of criminality that must be stopped by all means. So, I want to make it very clear that all Nigerians must put hands on deck to ensure that we stop these acts.
“The country is bleeding. We need all the funds we need so that this country can grow and develop and it is just by stopping these criminals like this, that will make that very possible.
“So why we’re here, is to come and see to identify them. The chief of Defense Intelligence is going to go straight into investigation as to who is involved, what was taken, who sent them, and this is because we want to catch the perpetrators.
“These ones are just the ground troops that are being used, the main actors are behind, and I want to use this opportunity to warn all those that don’t want to stop this, that enough is enough.
“The Armed Forces, the security agencies, the communities, private security agencies, wherever they are, they are contracted as long as they’re contracted by the federal government, we’re going to work together as a team.
“There’s not going to be any competition between us, and please, the media should stop making it look as if there’s a fight, there is no fight.
“Whatever arrest that has been done, it is done collaboratively, and we’re going to continue to do that. And so that is very important.
“We’re happy that these have been arrested. We’re going to take it off from here, and we’re going to do more, because, henceforth, we’re going to enhance our collaboration and our jointness in ensuring that we check these menace.
“Nigeria must grow, and individuals can not hold us to ransom. There are very few individuals who are making profit from this. And they don’t want to stop because I would have expected that by now, from all the actions have been taken to discourage people from doing it. But you can see that people are still hell-bent to steal our crude for their own selfish gains, and that must stop.
“So, I want to thank you for this opportunity that we’re here. And to make it very clear that we are all working together as a team.
“We will enhance this capacity, and this year, we will ensure that Nigeria oil production goes up, as much as possible, so that we can all benefit as Nigerians.
“The crude inside the vessel will going to be treated as standard operating procedure, including the ship.
“I know those ships that are very new will not want to commit crime. They want to go look for those ones that are almost dead. So that if they succeed, they have gained and if they lose it, they don’t lose anything. This will follow the standard operating procedure.” He stated.