-By Precious Ahiakwo-Ovie
The Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder is seeking a working collaboration with the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to tackle challenges it face in evacuation and storage of stolen crude oil from arrested oil thieves.
The Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim who made the call during a visit to the Port Harcourt Field Coordinator of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission Professor Godday Ineh in Port Harcourt, said the command is overwhelmed with the custody of stolen and abandoned crude oil from arrested oil thieves.
He said the Commission as a Petroleum Regulatory Commission would be the right channel to handle such stolen petroleum products.
“When we make these arrests, to get the companies to even come and evacuate is a problem. So we are always left with products that have been abandoned in our custody. This becomes a serious challenge for us as to what to do. So I’m hoping that this visit will able to establish a relationship where if arrests are made, we can contact you to come and evacuate or you direct the relevant companies to come and carry their stolen products. Another issue is after arrest, we are forced to hand over to the EFCC, and NSCDC, and eventually from our discoveries from the attorney general’s office, these products are handed over to individuals. I don’t think these individuals have the capacity to handle these products,” he said.
The Commander, NNS Pathfinder, Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim said the soot in the state has drastically reduced because the NNS Pathfinder has stop burning of stolen crude and tankers that conveys them.
He explained, “If you observe, you will notice the soot in Port Harcourt has drastically reduced. And this is as a result of our operations: when we identify those cooking sites by these oil thieves, we use the swamp boogie to crush their materials and their activities, we no longer burn those stolen crudes again. That’s why we asking the NUPRC to come up with a holding bay so such stolen crude oil and trucks arrested will be kept there while the relevant companies will come and identify them and evacuate”.
On his part, the Port Harcourt Field Coordinator of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission Professor Godday Ineh said the visit is apt and on time when the Nation’s maritime and oil sector needs serious sanity.
The NUPRC boss in Port Harcourt Professor Godday Ineh said the commission is ready for collaboration.
“We are in the region where the oil and gas are been explored. Most unfortunate is when you have invested and when you want to harvest at the end of the day, someone else has already harvested it for you. This is really unfortunate. At this juncture, we need a proper synergy as you have said, between the commission and the NNS. We must be able to work together to make sure that is there is accountability, there sanity and a lawful way to do business. So your visit is apt.”