Defence & Security

Illegal Oil Bunkerers, Refiners are Enemies of Nigeria’s Economic Growth – COAS

...Charges troops to square up with oil thieves

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya has stated that crude oil thieves are enemies of Nigeria’s economic growth. Adding that oil and gas are the major backbones of the nation’s economy.

The COAS stated this on Monday at the Headquarters of the Division in Port Harcourt, while addressing troops, during an operational tour of the 6 Division Nigerian Army’s Area of Responsibility.

According to the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement, the COAS charged officers and soldiers of the 6 Division to square up with oil thieves, who are sabotaging the country’s economy by indulging in illegal oil bunkering activities in South-South, Nigeria.

He further stated that while describing the oil and gas sector as the mainstay of the country’s economy, “Gen Yahaya maintained that the activities of illegal oil bunkers and refiners are inimical to the economy of the nation, adding that the troops must confront all forms of oil theft and associated crimes with renewed vigour and resolve.”

The COAS, who pointed out that some elements will test the troops’ will and resolve, encouraged them to be steadfast and tackle such elements headlong.

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He lauded the troops’ commitment and sacrifice for operating in difficult and environmentally hazardous terrain.

Gen Yahaya admonished the troops not to betray the trust reposed in them by the nation to protect the oil and gas sector, adding that they must remain apolitical and steer clear of political activism.

He assured them that competence and diligence will be rewarded, while indolence and untoward behaviour will be punished.

Gen. Nwachukwu further stated that a remodelled accommodation Quarters for 6 Division Regimental Sergent Major (RSM) and 29 Battalion Medical Reception Station (MRS) were commissioned by the COAS during the occasion.

“In continuation of the effort to improve the welfare of personnel and their families, the COAS commissioned newly remodelled accommodation Quarters for 6 Division Regimental Sergent Major (RSM).

“In the same vein, the COAS also commissioned 29 Battalion Medical Reception Station (MRS), newly constructed in partnership with Knives Global Leasing Ltd, the Battalion Motor Transport Yard, Refurbished Vehicles, and newly built 29 Battalion Soldiers’ Club,” the statement read.

The COAS was accompanied during the tour by the Chief of Operations (Army), Maj. Gen. Olufemi Akinjobi; the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Maj. Gen. Olufemi Oluyede; the Provost Marshal (Army), Maj. Gen. Robert Aiyenigba; the Chief of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Salihu and the Chief of Staff to COAS, Brig. Gen. Aminu Umar.

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