• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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1,437 oil theft suspects arrested in one year, says Defence Minister

Crude oil theft

The Nigerian Armed Forces have arrested 1,437 suspects over the past year, in major crackdown on illegal crude oil activities.

Mohammed Abubakar, Minister of Defence announced this during a ministerial briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, the operation underscored the heightened collaboration among the nation’s security agencies, which has markedly curbed crude oil theft and bolstered economic stability.

He said efforts to curb illegal crude oil production led to the destruction of 3,051 dugout pits, 1,276 boats, 3,924 storage facilities, 408 vehicles, and 2,716 cooking ovens used in illegal refineries. This comprehensive approach has significantly improved crude oil production.

Abubakar praised the synergy among the security agencies, attributing the success to the relentless efforts of the service chiefs and the strategic direction provided by President Bola Tinubu. “The service chiefs are working together day and night, which has resulted in unprecedented productivity and efficiency in a short time,” he said.

The briefing, held to mark President Tinubu’s administration, also highlighted other achievements. Over the past year, the Nigerian Armed Forces neutralized more than 9,300 bandits and terrorists, arrested about 7,000 suspects, and rescued 4,641 kidnap victims.

Additionally, the forces recovered 4,882 assorted weapons and 83,900 rounds of ammunition.

Among the neutralized bandits were commanders of hundreds of insurgents,.

The Defence Minister also noted the impact of the Defence Industries of Nigeria (DICON) Act, recently signed into law by President Tinubu.

The Act empowers DICON to operate and control ordnance factories, stimulating investments and local production of military and paramilitary equipment.

Furthermore, regional security collaborations have been strengthened, with ongoing operations like Operation Desert Sanity III and Lake Sanity II involving cooperation with neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and Chad.

These efforts have led to the arrest of many terrorists, weapons, and drug traffickers, reducing the proliferation of small arms and improving overall security.

Abubakar emphasized the importance of community involvement in security efforts, noting the valuable intelligence provided by local communities.

He assured continued diligence in the fight against insurgency, supported by enhanced technology and increased recruitment in the armed forces and sister agencies.

The successes of the past year, he stated, would be built upon to achieve even greater security in the future.