Environment Protection

Nigerian Army Dismantles 233 Illegal Refineries across Four States in 2023 as Core Issues Persist

  • In Buhari,s 8-year regime, all national refineries suspiciously remained moribund, trillions of naira from oil sales unaccounted for, most heads of NNPC departments alleged to be arab god adherents from the north with allegations of high ranking government officials masterminding crude oil theft by the shiploads

Nigerian Army, headquartered in Port Harcourt has disclosed significant strides in combating illegal activities within its jurisdiction encompassing Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers States. Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdulsalam, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division, revealed that 233 illegal refineries were dismantled, and 1,112 suspected oil thieves were apprehended.

Additionally, the operation led to the seizure of 1,111,900 million litres of illegally refined petroleum products and the impoundment of 72 trucks and various vehicles.

Noting the division’s commitment to upholding law and order, the Military authorities emphasized the successful completion of scheduled exercises in 2023, particularly focusing on the impact of “Exercise Still Waters 3” in suppressing criminal activities across the region. Notably, the operation resulted in the recovery of over 356 arms and ammunitions, further bolstering efforts to maintain security.

Looking ahead, Maj.-Gen. Abdulsalam outlined the Nigerian Army’s resolve to build upon its achievements in 2023, with a firm determination to eradicate oil theft in 2024. Expressing a zero-tolerance stance towards activities that undermine peace and stability, he underscored the division’s unwavering commitment to defending democratic values and ensuring the safety of the Niger Delta region and the nation at large.

The pervasive influence of corrupt practices and misrule by Nigerian politicians often exacerbates economic hardships, pushing vulnerable individuals towards illicit means of livelihood, including illegal oil refining.

Beyond the immediate security concerns, the environmental impact of illegal refining operations remains a pressing issue. The unregulated extraction and processing of crude oil lead to widespread pollution, endangering ecosystems and public health in affected areas.

Assuring continued vigilance, Maj.-Gen. Abdulsalam reiterated the division’s dedication to safeguarding crude oil output, affirming that all necessary measures would be taken to facilitate its growth in 2024.

IMAGE: The Guardian

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