A group, under the auspices of Ohaneze Think-Tank, has lambasted the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, for allegedly not allowing the private security outfits contracted by the Federal Government to do their jobs.

The group in an open letter to the CNS signed by Dr. Azubuike Ajuluchukwu and Dr. Cletus Akunyili, Coordinator and
Deputy Coordinator respectively and made available to journalists, told the CNS to allow the three private surveillance contractors to function in the nation’s waterways.

They said that they were initially hopeful when President Bola Tinubu appointed Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla as the Chief of Naval Staff because they thought that his appointment would herald an era for a new beginning.

They however lamented that contrary to their expectations that the Chief of Naval Staff will bring discipline, professionalism, competence and seriousness to bear on the job, their hope was dashed as the expected change has continued to be a mirage.

According to the group, while the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and other security agencies have abided with the directive to work alongside the private security firms, the Navy has remained adamant.

“The same old story of wanton irresponsibility and lack of dedication to duty by men of the Navy still subsists. The Navy you lead today carries the same old burden, which held down the nation.

“Rather than support the efforts of the three security companies contracted by the federal government to keep surveillance over oil facilities, the Navy is said to be hell bent in creating impediment in their paths, just to tarnish their reputation and have their contracts revoked.

“The companies, Tantita Security Services Limited ( TSSL) and Pipelines Infrastructures Limited under the supervision of Inter – Atlas Synergy, have all cried out over Naval sabotage of their operations in the nation’s waters,” the group said.

The group stressed that the contracting of the civil organizations has brought improvement in crude production because as at today, production has gone up from a paltry 650,000 barrels per day to about 1.7 million barrels per day.

They also noted that if the Navy’s resistance was removed, production could climb to over 2.0 million barrels per day, as it was in 2015, adding that if this trend continues government would no longer look for loans to support the economy.

“The oil majors pretend innocence, meanwhile they are known to be deeply enmeshed in the hanky panky game of oil theft in collaboration with the Navy and unscrupulous officials of NNPCL.

“Sir, impeccable investigation by this body has also revealed that the private security providers have assumed the responsibility of engaging in enlightenment programmes of local communities on behalf of the Federal Government, on the need to shun gangs that approach them for cooperation in oil theft, no matter how mouth watering the inducement.

“The awareness campaigns were aimed at re-awakening the consciousness of the inhabitants of the host communities on the dangers of involvement in practices associated with oil theft .

“These concerted efforts have made villagers to decline to help and support the economic saboteurs. Besides, we also gathered that these private security outfits have supported locals to return to their age long occupation of fishing and farming, through financial gifts, purchase of fishing nets and others needed for their occupation.

“As clearly elucidated in the RENEWED HOPE AGENDA of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the private security providers have created an acquatic industry and food security chains in the host communities of the Niger Delta inline with Mr. Presidentโ€™s New Year day speech and agenda on January 1st, 2024.

“This was achieved as pollution in the waterways were cleaned due to reduction in the operations of the oil buccaneers. Also to be noted is the mass demolition of illegal crude refining camps that dotted the region.

“The private security firms have provided commendable surveillance on the nation’s oil assets. The improvement in production attests to their efforts.

“The Navy has to purge itself of unfounded anger and work with them to enhance production.

“Nigerians of goodwill must intervene and prevail on the Navy to support the federal government’s decision to incorporate civil security organizations to assist in securing oil facilities across Niger Delta,” the group added.

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