Downstream oil sector operators under the aegis of National Oil and Gas Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Akwa Ibom state chapter, have urged the federal government to set up task force to eradicate incessant stealing of oil in Akwa Ibom state
They also commended the efforts of the operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) for effectively taking the war against oil thieves to the den of the perpetrators adding that the action had stemmed incidences of oil sector frauds in the state.
Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Wednesday, Comrade Sam Osung, state Chairman of NOGASA, stressed the need for holistic action involving relevant security agencies in the task of completely stamping out the menace of oil thefts, bunkering, oil diversion and other unwholesome practices bedevilling the sector.
Commending the NSCDC for fighting the oil sector illegalities in the state to a standstill in the last five months, the former head of Surveillance and Intelligence Monitoring team of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in – charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, regretted that the sector would have been completely cleansed of the scourge if all the hands of the industry stakeholders were on deck.
He recalled that there had been series of petitions against the agency in the past concerning allegations of security lapses, but expressed hope that such action had since reinforced the combat-readiness of the NSCDC operatives to tackle the oil sector thieves.
.”As stakeholders in the downstream supply and distribution chain, we cannot take for granted the role of the NSCDC, especially in the Area of mitigating irregularities and enabling a good atmosphere for legitimate businesses to thrive.
“About this time last year and up to early February this year, the business community, especially in oil and gas were uncomfortable with the method deployed by the then leadership of Akwa Ibom Command. That resulted in the reaction of IPMAN, which culminated in a petition submitted to your office on the 10th of February this Year
“Because of this, the Command could not retain the trust and confidence of the people owing to their method of operation which led to reputation sabotage
“We understand the level of commitment and hard work it may have cost you to save the image of the Corp and regain the trust of the people. We are proud of your efforts and commitment to service as demonstrated through the Current Akwa Ibom State Commandant and his Anti-Vandals team
“The entire stakeholders and agencies are having and enjoying a good working relationship with your team and we are sure the government of Akwa Ibom state is enjoying the same working relationship. The Proficient Manner through which the Commandant and the Anti Vandals Team deploy in carrying out their duty is commendable
“We are grateful for your proactive and diplomatic measures in dealing with issues and the selflessness portrayed by your Akwa Ibom state Commandant,” he said