By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Tuesday, promised to tackle the issue of crude oil theft with the deployment of drones across the nation’s territorial waters to monitor the inwards and outwards movement of oil vessels.
In a statement by the NNPC in Abuja, Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, also lamented the rising incidence of crude oil theft and its negative impact on the country’s refineries, and stated that the NNPC is working on a range of far reaching options designed to end the issue of crude and petroleum products theft within the next eight months.
Kachikwu, who stated this at the special conference on Security in the Gulf of Guinea organized by the Gusau Institute, warned that if left unchecked, the menace could invariably make it impossible for the NNPC to operate the refineries.
He said, “We are launching an armada of approaches which will include incorporation of drones to check movements of vessels within our territorial waters; We are looking at the current logistical nightmares of changing staffing at the loading bay of crude oil export terminals virtually every 90 days.
“We are trying to equip the navy sufficiently though they are very well equipped in terms of skill set but not in terms of arsenal for patrols within the maritime area.”