Group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company [NNPC] Ltd, Mallam Mele Kyari has said that nobody; the level in government or private sector notwithstanding, implicated in the ongoing fresh onslaught against oil thieves and pipeline vandals would be spared.

The NNPC boss spoke when he led a high powered federal government delegation to inspect some of the oil-theft infrastructure discovered by Tantita Security Services ltd.

A couple of months ago, the Nigerian government awarded a N4.5billion monthly pipeline, surveillance contract to Tantita Security Service Company, to assist curb oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.

The company is said to the owned by Mr. Government Ekpemupolo [popularly called Tompolo,] who happens to be the leader of the dreaded Niger Delta militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta (MEND). 

Also Read: Ex-Militant Tapped to Protect Nigerian Pipelines He Once Blew Up

Addressing the team of top industry stakeholders, including security operatives, the managing director, Tantita Mr. Kestin Pondi, informed that the Tompolo group had discovered 16 illegal tapped lines deftly plugged into the Trans-Escravos pipeline at various locations in the riverside communities.

Pondi said the tap lines used by the gangs were discovered during a comprehensive check on the coastlines recently. According to him, evidence suggests that the illegal tapping of oil via the plugged-ins had been there for a long time.

“From the look of things, this has been on for a long time. Getting to this level is not easy as it took a lot of effort and intelligence from our operatives. We were hinted on the two illegal attachments that were foiled. We are combing this line up to Ogidigben to Madaho.

“This particular one inspected by the NNPC CEO team is located at Yokre Flow Station. Only God knows how many more points we are going to see as we go further. As at this moment, we have discovered 16 points so far. The identified 16 points were attached to the Trans Escravos pipeline at different locations,” he said

Also Read: Nigeria: Dokubo Threatens Tompolo’s N4.5bn Oil Sector Surveillance Contract

According to him, is obvious that a lot of people are complicit in the illegal oil activities. “Whether it is in the security sector, host communities, even in the oil industry, if you know that you have been involved and nobody is doing anything about it, this is the time to evacuate.” Pondi warned

“If you do not stop, the laws that are protecting the oil industry will come very strongly on you.”
“Tompolo is 100% committed to eradicating this menace of illegal oil theft and refining from the Niger Delta. It degrades our environment. It creates health hazards to our people.”

The oil industry leaders who accompanied the NNPC boss in the tour of Trans-Escravos Pipeline Terminal and to the Afremo A Platform, include Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, group chief executive officer, NNPC Ltd, Dr. Mele Kolo Kyari; Bala Wunti, group general manager, NAPIMS, heads of other security arms and the media who were on a guided tour to

Mr. Kyari said from what they observed, the illegal attachments on the Trans Escravos pipeline were “professionally done”, noting that the “illegal refiners connected this to an inactive pipeline which should not carry crude in a normal instance.

Also Read: Nigeria Drops to Africa’s No 4, OPEC Reports

“The illegal attachments on the Trans Escravos pipeline were professionally done and the end result is that they connected this to an inactive pipeline which should not carry crude in a normal instance.
“And we have seen that this line flow all the way parallel to the two other active Trans Escravos pipelines. And this is a good revelation.

“That is why the Chief of Defence Staff has said very clearly that an extensive investigation will be conducted. Anyone involved in this matter, either from the host community, community contractors, government security agencies, workers of the oil companies including NNPC and Shell. Anyone that is involved in this will be dealt with by the law.”

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