…. Blames Navy for aiding oil thieves
Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSL), has revealed that it has intercepted a 3,000 ton vessel loaded with over 119 barrels of suspected crude oil in Bayelsa State.
The TSSL was contracted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to secure pipelines and curb oil theft in the oil rich Niger Delta region.
The vessel, already loaded with an unspecified thousands of metric tonnes of crude oil, was named MT Kally, and carried a crew of 12 with members of some oil communities.
It was impounded in a joint operation by the officials of TSSL, owned by a former militant commander in the Niger Delta, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The engineer and captain of the vessel, who identified themselves as Promise Eze and Adeboye David, respectively as well as some accomplices, who were members of some oil communities in Bayelsa state, were kept on board the vessel on Friday night as investigation into the incident continued
The crew and their local accomplices were siphoning crude oil into the vessel from offshore Sokebolou field in Bayelsa state, before nemesis caught up with them.
Preliminary report of the incident revealed that the first manifold of the vessel was being loaded before the intervention of the security team.
Our checks showed that the management of TSSL has reported the major feat to the National Security Officer (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the board and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL
It was gathered that the Nigerian Navy being blamed for the massive oil theft in the Niger Delta region, was ruffled that the feat was accomplished by a private security outfit, few hours after the security agency launched a new outfit, “Operation Delta Sanity”, with fanfare in Warri, Delta State.
The event was performed by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.
Eze and Adeboye, who were interrogated by the Executive Director, Operations, TSSL, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh, said the vessel was mobilised from Lagos to load crude oil illegally from offshore locations in Bayelsa state.
According to them, they departed Lagos following assurances by their boss, whom they declined to name, that all security agencies along the shore have been compromised to give them unfettered passage to carry out the illicit business
This interception by Tantita security services is said to be yet another milestone in its achievement in fighting crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, a pipeline security company owned by famous Niger Delta warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, added that the vessel could not have had access to crude in the region without the support of the Nigerian Navy.
Tantita is dedicated to guarding the Oil and Gas Sector’s critical assets. Since its inception, this indigenous security firm has displayed unwavering commitment to safeguarding these critical assets.
As at November 2023, the Nigerian government said that more than N4.3tn worth of crude oil was stolen in 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases within a period of five years.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a Federal Government agency, revealed that oil theft and losses in Nigeria had become a national emergency.
But according to report, since contracting of Tantita Security Services and others there has been improvement in crude oil production because production has gone up from a paltry 650,000 barrels per day to about 1.7 million barrels per day.