BY PHILIP NWOSU
The Nigerian Navy under the Defence Headquarters operation, code name Operation Awatse, said it has been able to save for the country over N1.6billion between 2019 and 2020, which was the total value of petroleum products that vandals within the Atlas Cove area of Lagos were prevented from stealing.
According the Commander OPERATION AWATSE and the FLAG OFFICER COMMANDING (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, security personnel in the Atlas Cove area also recovered 553, 829 empty jerricans valued at N553million and allegedly being used to siphon petroleum product from punctured pipelines.
Admiral Daji spoke during the induction of four brand new Hilux truck and Quad Bikes to be used by security for monitoring of the pipeline stretching from Atlas Cove to Musomi area in Ogun State.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) donated the four Toyota Hilux vehicles and four Quad Bikes to the Nigerian military to support Operation Awatse.
The vehicles were formally received today by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, who was represented by AVM Jack Yusuf.
The event, which was attended by NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, took place at the Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) Mele Kyari commissioned the vehicles, saying that continued policing of the pipelines by the OPERATION AWATSE troops had given the NNPC the courage to pump more fuel to its depots around the country.
He said that the NNPC is pursuing the policing of pipeline from multiple angles to ensure that petroleum products are no longer stolen from the pipelines, saying where there are variable lines that the cooperation will ensure the use of technology to control it.
He explained that the NNPC under his reign is pursuing its four point agenda which has reduced its loses from N800billion in 2018 to less than N2billion naira in 2020.
Kyari said in the past the financial report of the organisation were not being published but under his reign that the cooperation has done it for 2018 and 2019 and that Nigerians now know what they are doing on their behalf.
He said the NNPC is now more accountable to Nigerians than it had been in the past.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Olonisakin said the donation of the mobility assets will enhance the taskforce’s capacity to rapidly deploy resources for the protection of the country’s energy sector.
Olonisakin who was represented by the Director of Operations, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Jack Yusuf, re-emphasised the need to establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Tarkwa Bay to sustain gains recorded, pointing out that the DHQ has approved the deployment of additional 110 troops, to hold the ground and prevent the return of many of the cleared hoodlums.