Officers of the Six Division, Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt have uncovered 14 reservoirs containing about 2.8 million liters of crude in an illegal oil bunkering site at a forest in Odagwa Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) Six Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Major-General Jamal Abdussalam disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the scene of incident, noting that some arrests have been made in connection with the discovery.
“Based on credible intelligence, which led us to this location, we have discovered so many illegalities that are taking place here. We have seen reservoirs that can contain upwards of 200,000 liters.
“We have discovered about 14 of them in the forest. We have discovered boilers, like this bush is capable of processing crude oil about 49, all located inside the bush.
“And you have seen a network of pipes and cables running around the whole area. In fact, the crude we have discovered in this place is in excess of the daily crude export in Nigeria, which is very pathetic and very, very sad,” he lamented.
Giving a further breakdown, Abdussalam revealed that each of the 14 reservoirs discovered have a minimum of 200,000 liters, bringing it to over 2.8 million liters of crude stored. This, he noted, is besides the already processed and distributed ones.
Abdussalam, who doubles as the Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF) in the South-South, Operation Delta Safe and led the operation into the forest in Odagwa Community, confirmed that some arrests have been made, saying: “However those that have been arrested are not the major players in the illegal business.
“They are just carriers. They are people who come and carry oil, carry pipes, so they are basically labourers. The main players in the activity have not been caught, but now that we have found this place, with proper intelligence and investigation, we will get the real perpetrators,” he assured.
Speaking further, he pegged the discovery as part of efforts by the Nigeria Army to ensure that the Federal Government gets what is due to it to improve the economy towards ensuring a better welfare of Nigerians.
While advising those involved in the illegal activities to repent and venture into a better job, Abdussalam cautioned that the Army will not relent in chasing the perpetrators of illegal oil activities, as he disclosed he will contact the relevant authorities to follow up and destroy the site.