Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Reps committee assures NSCDC of support to protect national assets

Mr Ado-Doguwa said priority attention would be given to oil and gas assets to address oil theft and vandalism in the country.

• February 21, 2024
Civil Defence officers
Civil Defence operatives used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: Leadership News]

The Special Committee on Oil Theft/Losses of the House of Representatives has pledged to support the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to protect critical national infrastructure.

The chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (APC-Kano), pledged at a meeting of members of the committee with the commandant-general of NSCDC, Ahmed Audi in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mr Ado-Doguwa said priority attention would be given to oil and gas assets to address oil theft and vandalism in the country.

The chairman said there was a need to conduct a comprehensive review, audit and risk assessment to protect the pipelines and other critical assets.

According to him, as the lead agency, the NSCDC should, as a matter of priority and in collaboration with other stakeholders, develop a Critical National Security Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI) Protection Response Plan that will designate roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders.

“These core responsibilities of protecting Critical National Security Assets and infrastructure (CNAI), among others, are so germane to solving the devastating menace of crude oil theft currently ravaging our country.

“May I also emphasise that the protection of critical assets and infrastructure is very vital to the continued existence of every nation globally.

“To that effect, Nigeria’s National Security Strategy 2019 captured and emphasised the urgent need for safeguarding these assets,” he said.

Despite enormous challenges, Mr Ado-Doguwa commended the commandant general, officers and men of the corps for outstanding commitment in delivering on institutional mandates.

He said the special committee on oil theft and losses had the mandate of the house to work with stakeholders to address the challenges of oil theft.

According to him, it is on record that NNPCL CEO Mele Kyari was reported to have decried the over 5,000km of oil pipelines not working due to pipeline vandalism.

He said the presidential special investigative panel on oil theft and losses in Nigeria also stated in their report that ‘crude oil theft and related pipeline sabotage have forced some companies to shut down production and sell off their assets.

“Shell, Chevron, Mobil and other IOCs are divesting their land and shallow water assets, mainly because they no longer see growth potentials in them.

“It is also the same for marginal field operators. They all cite the significant difference between what they produce at the wellheads and output at the terminals as an operational challenge that occasions huge losses on their investments,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Audi expressed appreciation to the National Assembly for the support but said there was still so much that needed to be done to enable the corps to achieve its mandate effectively.

He announced that over 600 vandals had been arrested and more than 200 successfully prosecuted.

The commandant general said the corps had developed kinetic and non-kinetic measures to deal with the problem.

Mr Audi said the NSCDC was working assiduously on its objectives but was greatly hampered by a lack of funds, among other problems. 

(NAN)

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