Oil theft: NSCDC warns anti-vandal unit against compromise

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Abubakar Audi, to put an end to the menace of oil theft and bunkering taking toll on the nation’s economy.

The NSCDC boss disclosed that more than 200 suspects had been arrested by the corps in the last one year for alleged oil theft and illegal oil bunkering activities in some parts of the country.

He said that the corps has also arrested over 300 trucks and destroyed over 50 Illegal refineries, saying oil theft and illegal oil bunkering had become alarming.

Audi spoke in Abuja at an emergency meeting with the heads of anti-vandalisastion units in all the state commands, where he read Riot Act to them on the need to step up action on protection of assets and infrastructure in the country.

He noted that the Federal Government is worried about the rate of oil theft and illegal bunkering, disclosing that President Buhari has directed that the menace must be stopped.

He warned that the corps has also set up a panel to investigate some members of anti-vandalisastion squad alleged to have compromised in the illegal bunkering, threatening that any officer found culpable would be severely sanctioned.

“I invited you here to register my displeasure and disappointment at the attitude to work by some Heads of Anti-Vandal Units and members of their squad.

“You are all aware that one of the core mandate of the corps is the protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI) for which the corps remains the lead agency.

“The corps’ management under my supervision has taken several proactive measures to stem the tide of oil theft and vandalisation which include but not limited to the setting up of the Commandant General’s Special Intelligence Squad.

“However, it appears some elements in the system are working to draw the corps backwards from realising the expected gains from our efforts to eradicate or reduce to the barest minimum, incidences of oil theft, oil pipeline vandalisation, among others.

“There are indications that some of the anti-vandal units in some state commands had 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, hence the imperative of summoning all heads of anti-vandal units nationwide to this meeting to deliberate on the dangerous slide and rather unfortunate development which the management frowns at as it is inimical to the image the corps has built over the years.

“The importance of this meeting is 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 reorganisation and overhauling of the entire anti-vandal units across board to reposition the unit for better performance.

“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, nonchalance and incompetence and will therefore not hesitate to appropriately deal with any officer found wanting in the discharge of his duties,” Audi said.

“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 Nigeria.

“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 vandalisation of oil pipelines and other CNAI.

“Meanwhile, the management has commenced discrete 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.

“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.

“All hands must be on deck in our collective efforts to rid the society of crime and criminality even as we synergise with sister agencies to enhance a safe and secure environment,” Audi said.


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