Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has stated that the federal government will soon publish the names of significant individuals responsible for oil theft in the nation.
Shehu claimed that security personnel had stormed places where illegal oil bunkering thrives in an effort to free the nation's economy from the sabotage of a selfish minority.
Shehu intimated that there might be instances of some law enforcement officers engaging in the unlawful activity when speaking on Trust TV, but said that additional measures were being taken to stop it.
“Oil theft is being tackled. The big problem we have in this country is that we ought to see more commitment from communities in assisting law enforcement agents. In some cases, where some actors in the law enforcement are complicit, it becomes bad,” he said.
He added that it was embarrassing for Nigeria not to meet up with the quota given to it by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“We used to fight the OPEC for more quotas; now, they have given us and we are not able to meet up. This is embarrassing. Security agencies are fully involved in stopping this act. I am hopeful that in the next few days, the office of the National Security Adviser will be presenting to the country, big men who are promoters of this kind of business as they are being caught and illegal refineries are being bombed out.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited is also installing a monitoring capacity to detect or advise immediately when sabotage of oil pipelines happen,” he said.
Regarding security, Shehu stated that the president's top priority when he assumed office was putting an end to the insurgency in the North East, and that several efforts had been made to do so. He continued by saying that because of the strength of the Nigerian Army, terrorists no longer claimed any area.
He asserted, however, that instances of banditry and kidnapping were caused by the previous administration's unwillingness to address the underlying issue as well as the military personnel's subpar training.
“The fight against banditry and kidnapping and the results have begun to reach an important turning point. A momentum has been generated, and we are hoping there would be no turning back. These days, all we hear is that the military is being frontal in its activity of attacking bandits’ enclaves; freeing hostages and all of that. We hope there would be no turning back,” he said.
He said the victory recorded by the army had justified the money spent on the military, saying, “Public expenditure is justified because if we didn’t fight Boko Haram to what we have today, they would have probably taken over many more cities. Before now, they were active, up to Abuja, bombing the United Nations’ headquarters and other places. Is it 100 per cent success? Clearly no, but substantially, they are degraded.”
He added that the military would soon get more equipment to aid the fight.