Worried by the spate of oil theft and illegal bunkering in the country, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, convened a strategic meeting at the Corps’ National Headquarters, in Abuja, to tackle the menace.
Oil theft and illegal bunkering have led to huge revenue loss to the federal government despite measures put in place in an attempt to curtail the excesses of the operators.
Speaking at the opening session of the strategic meeting, with Zonal Commanders, State Commandants and Heads of Anti Vandal Unit of the Corps, across the country, Dr Audi explained that this step became necessary, to reverse the ugly trend.
He gave a marching order to all concerned officials of the Corps, to buckle up and ensure that the needful is done to halt oil theft without further delay.
The CG, who described oil as the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy stated that since the Corps is saddled with the responsibility of protecting petroleum pipelines and other oil installations, across the country, against vandals and oil thieves, it behoves on personnel, to live up to expectation and carry out this function effectively.
According to him, “It is a strategic meeting at my instance. We are aware that as far as the nation is concerned, oil is the mainstay of the economy and the massive oil theft and illegal bunkering, in the country is alarming.
“It is in this direction that I have summoned all the high ranking officers of the Corps, to this meeting, for us to sit up and come up with ways of tackling this menace creating problems for us”, he stated.
The Commandant General however, read the Riot Act to personnel conniving with vandals and oil thieves to carry out this dastardly act and made it categorically clear that anybody caught will not be spared if investigated and found culpable.
He expressed concern that as the lead agency, in the protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure, the Corps must help government to generate more revenues.
He tasked the officers to check their excesses, inappropriate behaviours and warned that his administration will not condone any form of compromise or unethical behaviours, from personnel deployed to prevent oil theft and illegal bunkering.
According to the CG, “some people believe that security agencies are part of oil theft in the country, but we must do what is necessary to redeem our image.
“There are indications that some of the Anti-Vandal Units in some State Commands have been found wanting, in the discharge of their duties as the Corps’ Management, has received reports of irresponsibility and connivance on the part of some of them.
“This dangerous and rather unfortunate development which the Management frowns at, is inimical to the image the Corps has built over the years.
“Let me state categorically that the Corps’ Management, will not condone any act that could impugn on the integrity of the Corps.
“The import of this meeting is therefore, to draw your attention to some of these observed lapses and shortcomings, in the operations of the Anti-vandal Squad and the need for a total reorganization and overhauling of the entire Anti-vandal Units across board, to reposition the Unit for better performance.
He continued that “as heads of Anti-vandal Units, you are expected to display a high sense of responsibility, commitment, loyalty and dedication to duty.
“Let me sound this note of warning that the Corps has no space for mediocrity, laziness, non-chalance, incompetence and will therefore, not hesitate to appropriately, deal with any officer found wanting in the discharge of his duties.
“You must therefore, go back to your various State Commands and redouble your efforts to re-invigorate, re-engineer and reposition your various Anti-vandal Squads for better performance, to justify the confidence reposed, in the Corps, by Government and the good people of this great Country.
“Members of the Anti-vandal Squad must re-dedicate themselves, to our collective goal and objective, to curb and checkmate crime and eradicate incidences of oil theft/oil bunkering and vandalization of oil pipelines and other Critical National Assets and Infrastructure ( CNAI ).
The CG hinted that the Management of the Corps, has commenced discreet investigation into the activities of the Anti-Vandal Squads, across the States while those found culpable in any act of criminal connivance capable of damaging the image of the Corps will be severely sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others.
“Let me also assure you that those, who have shown a high sense of responsibility, diligence, competence and commitment, in the discharge of their duties will be rewarded accordingly, through the reward system already emplaced by the Corps’ Management”, he declared.