War against oil theft involves multilevel collaboration – Rivers CP

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph Mukan, had stated that the war against oil theft and pipeline vandalism requires multilevel collaboration among all the federal government security agencies saddled with the responsibility of fighting the menace.

CP Mukan who described those indulged in pipeline vandalism and oil theft as enemies of national economy said it would provide a veritable platform to effectively interact and chart a trajectory on the way forward to curbing Pipeline Vandalism towards enhancing Socio-Economic Development in Rivers State.

The state Police boss, stated this yesterday, in a paper he presented on the occasion of the tour of Rivers State Police Command by the participants from the Naval War College (Warfare Course 4), Calabar, Cross River State.

Thanking the Management and Staff of the War College for choosing Rivers Police Command for the visit, saying, Mukan said: “The fight against pipeline vandalism for all intents and purposes, can never be fought alone. There must be multilevel collaboration, if we must wedge a sustainable war against the enemies of our national economy”.

Mukan mentioned agencies
directly charged with the constitutional responsibilities to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country both on land and waterways.

The agencies, according to the Police Commissioner included: Nigeria Police Force (Marine Police), Nigerian Navy, Department of State Security (DSS), National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force (Air/Aerial Surveillance)

He stated that oil bunkering has become one of the most dangerous threats to economic lives as a nation.

He noted: “In recent times, criminally-minded residents of our coastal and land areas have resorted to crude oil theft and illegal refining of petroleum product for selfish gains.

“Several agencies have continuously waged war against these economic saboteurs. The Nigerian Navy, Army, Police, Customs, NSCDC, EFCC have all been involved in the struggle to curb illegal bunkering over the years. Regrettably, we still have some of them all over the place”.

Mukan said pipeline vandalism has remained a regular menace security agencies are still contending with. He expressed optimism that they would win the war.

The police boss discovered that inter-agency rivalry due to inter-related functions, as one of the challenges frustrating the war against pipeline vandalism and oil theft.

He noted: “For example, there are no clear and dividing line about the functions of the Navy, Marine Police and the NSCDC, as it affects pipeline vandalism and the power of prosecution.

“The bottleneck created in the line of reporting sometimes, makes it impossible for the required action to be taken at the right time. For example, all agencies would rather process their intelligence report to their individual headquarters before being shared with other agencies, not minding whether the operatives are camped next door or the risk of imminent attack”.

He, however, stated that the visit was to sharpen and re-position the security personnel ahead of the great task of dealing with those bent on sabotaging the nation’s economy”.

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