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Incessant Clash btw Navy and Tantita Security outfit: Reps pass motion by Donald Ojogo to arrest situation

_”If the incessant conflict between the Nigeria Navy and Tantita Security outfit is not quickly addressed and curtailed, the possibility of increasing oil production to fund the 2024 budget will terribly be threatened.” Donald Ojogo declared

The House of Representatives on Thursday, 21st December, 2023 ordered an immediate investigation into the causes of constant conflict between the Nigeria Navy and Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited engaged by the NNPC Limited to protect oil pipeline in the Niger Delta.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Donald Ojogo, member House of Representatives representing Ilaje/Ese-odo Federal Constituency, said there was the need to immediately curb the conflict if the country is to meet its oil production benchmark on which the 2024 budget estimated base.

The Committee to conduct the investigation is headed by Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa who doubles as chairman upstream, while the Chairmen downstream, midstream, funding, gas resources, ports and harbours, Niger Delta, environment are all members of the House Special Committee on Oil Theft.

Leading debate on the motion, Hon. Ojogo said, if the incessant conflict between the Nigeria Navy and Tantita Security Services is not quickly addressed and curtailed, the possibility of increasing oil production to fund the 2024 budget will be almost non-existent.

Hon. Ojogo acknowledged the fact that the Nigerian Navy, by Law, is a statutory National security agency and an Arm of the three Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria established with the sole purpose of protecting Nigeria’s Maritime Integrity and territorial waters.

He said this sole responsibility of the Navy covers the protection of Nigeria’s national assets including the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure across the water belts of the country covering inland, onshore and offshore waters.

Further aware that the Nigerian Navy has a history of commendable exploits within and outside Nigeria while on operations, making the Nation proud.

He disclosed that in its bid to take full advantage of human potential across the Niger Delta, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), then as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) in August 2022, firmed out intricate aspects of securing the nation’s oil and gas assets to some private security firms with deep knowledge of the areas in question.

According to him, this was done to protect such assets from vandals in order to stem oil theft, enhance productivity, and ultimately engender higher production output to grow the nation’s economy through increased revenue.

Hon. Ojogo said such arrangements have recorded some positive results with regards to production output even as the 2024 budget estimates presented to the National Assembly by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, alluded to high expectations of a further increase in output by benchmarking same at 1.7m BPD.

He said these high expectations could only have been on the strength of an efficient, effective and robust collaboration and synergy of both the statutory security outfit, in this case, the Nigerian Navy, and custodians of delegated duties (private security firms) appear to be threatened by an unhealthy rivalry and incessant conflicts of operational responsibilities.

He stressed that these cases of unchecked open conflicts and altercations have almost reached an embarrassing level of media brickbats between the Navy and some private security firms with such assigned responsibilities.

He expressed concern that “just last week, there was a reported case of exchange of gunfire between men of the Nigerian Navy and operatives of a private security outfit on the coastal waters of Ondo State and parties involved adduced or advanced reasons for their actions and inactions with accusations and counter accusations.

“If this trend continues, an unachievable oil output projection looms ahead of the 2024 Fiscal Year and that the implications of such development on the economy will be negative”.

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