Legal Nigeria

How we reduced oil theft on Lagos waters, by Navy commander

By Precious Igbonwelundu

The Maritime Component Commander of NNS BEECROFT Operation Awatse, Rear Admiral Ibrahim Shettima, has said the base made progress in operations, welfare and infrastructural development.

He said strategies were articulated on his assumption of the leadership of the command, to safeguard maritime-based resources and assets, reduce  oil theft as well as ensure general improvement in the overall security of his Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Shetimma spoke in Lagos when security chiefs gathered at the parade ground, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, for his valedictory parade.

Rear Admiral Shettima commanded the navy’s premiere base from April 19, 2019 to March 26, 2021.

He ensured infrastructural upgrade and enhanced inter-agency collaborations and synergy among relevant agencies in Lagos State.

Security chiefs who witnessed the parade included the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu; Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Kamaurudeen Lawal;  Commissioner of Police (CP) Hakeem Odumosu; Commander Ninth Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Sale Kawugana; State Director, Department of State Services (DSS), as well as heads of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state.

Giving account of his stewardship, Rear Admiral Shettima, who has been appointed managing director, Navy Building and Construction Company (NBCC), Abuja,  said: “NNS BEECROFT’s strategic location in the busiest and largest economic zone of the country puts a lot of responsibility on the base as its functions have direct bearing on the socioeconomic well-being of Lagos State, the Southwest and the nation at large.

“Accordingly, the base leveraged existing cooperation of the Lagos State Government, relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector and other security agencies to synergise efforts at enhancing the security of all key and vulnerable points.

“I am pleased to state that the strategy paid off and gave spur for the operational successes achieved by the base. “

For instance, unlike in the past when pipeline vandalism and oil theft were rampant, a robust and vigorous security strategy by the base led to a massive reduction in the activities of these vandals who attempt to siphon and sell these stolen products at the detriment of the nation’s finances.

“Under my watch, the base conducted operations which led to the dismantling of many illegal connections along our pipelines. These efforts by the base have led to a reduction of PMS losses along this line from 27.25% in the past, to less than 5% today saving the nation billions of naira.

“This was achieved through clearance operations at the Atlas Cove and Tarkwa Bay, which used to be havens for pipeline vandals and criminal syndicates, resulting in significantly fewer disruptions to NNPC operations within the area.”

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