The Defence Headquarters has denied claims that some military personnel and security agencies are involved in oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
Fielding questions from journalists on the operations of the military, Jimmy Akpor, director of defence information, said the allegations were unfounded. Akpor said the major stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have an understanding of the workings of the industry, adding that it is unfair to drag the military into the activities of the criminals.
He said the armed forces and other security agencies have continued to do their best to safeguard the nation’s economic assets in the region.
In August, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, alleged that churches, mosques, and security agencies as well as host communities were involved in crude oil theft.
Providing updates at the briefing on Thursday, Musa Danmadami, director of defence media operations, said oil thieves have been denied N1.2 billion by the military within two weeks of its clearance operations. He said the navy seized N664.8 million worth of crude oil, N546.7 million worth of diesel; N12.2 million worth of Kerosene; and N11.8 million worth of petroleum products.
He said troops of Operation Delta Safe in collaboration with the Department of State Service (DSS) have continued to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
“Also, troops of Operation Delta Safe discovered and destroyed 67 illegal refining sites, 11 wooden boats, 218 storage tanks, 168 cooking ovens, and 61 dugout pits within the period under review,” he said.
Troops also recovered 2.07 million litres of crude oil, 706,000 litres of automotive gas oil, 15,500 litres of dual purpose kerosene and 67,000 litres of premium motor spirit.
Eight trucks, three pumping machines, three outboard engines and three generators were also recovered, while five pipeline vandals were also arrested. All recovered items were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.”he said