Juliet Akoje in Abuja
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Special Committee on Oil Theft/Losses, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, yesterday stated that the federal parliament would push legislation to enhance the involvement of private security outfits in protecting the country’s oil and gas facilities.
The lawmaker made this known when he led chairmen of other oil and gas-related committees for an on-the-spot assessment of vessels arrested by a private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, in collaboration with the security agencies in Delta State for stealing crude oil in Bayelsa State.
The committees on the trip were Environment, Host Communities, Niger Delta, Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Midstream), Gas Resources, and Petroleum Resources (Training Fund).
Ado-Doguwa lauded the security firm for doing a good job in protecting oil installations in the Niger Delta, which has led to improved production.
“We will also see to the possibility of creating a legal framework where private institutions like Tantita would be allowed not only on the shallow waters but even to go and operate in the high seas, the deep waters to see how they can protect our assets, to see how they can fight seriously against oil theft and this kind of vandalism that has continued to affect adversely the development of our economy.
“The economy is around the oil sector and we must have to do whatever is needed to protect our oil assets and to protect these very particular areas so that we would continue to catch up with the quota accorded to us by OPEC, which is the most important thing. We must do that because it is only when you do that you will be able to generate the desired revenue and the desired resources to develop the country and reduce pressure on the naira. So many other things. I want to say on behalf of the committee, that we have seen very good work done by Tantita. We have also seen very good work being done by our security agencies, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, and Civil Defence, doing their very best and on our own part we will continue to now create a better performing environment for them to see to the protection of our oil assets.”
On his part, the Chairman of the Oil Committee on Oil Theft, Hon. Fred Agbedi, while speaking, also expressed the commitment of the House to tackle the problem of crude oil theft.
Similarly, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Midstream), Hon. Prince Odianosen Henry Okojie, said the various relevant committees would work in sync to deal with the menace and shore up the country’s revenue to enhance development.
“The unfortunate incident falls within his purview as the chairman of midstream, which involves the processing, storing, transporting, and marketing of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.”
He also commended Tantita and the security agencies for their efforts to address the problem, stressing that the committee would encourage and pursue collaborations that will make the lives of Nigerians better.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Hon. Eugene Okechikwu Dibia Agu, also expressed optimism over the increased production of oil.