26 August 2013, Abuja – The Director of Information, Defence Head-quarters, Brig Gen. Chris Olukolade has revealed that the military and some deputy governors of states where oil theft and pipeline vandalism is prevalent have started meeting on the way forward to address the challenge.
The Defence spokesman made the disclosure in Abuja during a roundtable on the adoption of voluntary principles for security and human rights in Nigeria.
He said “We are handling it. There were some meetings held with the headquarters and the deputy governors of the affected states, details of which I am not authorized to disclose here. The much I know is that a lot of efforts is being focused in addressing these issues in terms of security.”
Olukolade however explained that the operation of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta has changed from fighting militancy to tackling “crude oil theft and economic sabotage.”
The Roundtable was convened by a non-governmental organisation, Global Rights which is pushing for the adoption of Voluntary Principles for security and human rights in Nigeria.
Country Director of the organisation, Mrs. Abiodun Baiyewu, explained that “the principles are basically a voluntary set of principles that guide the extractive companies and their activities.”
According to her, Nigeria is not yet signatory to the voluntary principles, although some International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the country such as Shell Petroleum Development Company and Mobil Oil Producing Company have already keyed into the initiative.
She said the country upon the adoption of the principles will experience better protection of the lives of the workers and host communities as it will curb violence and other vices.
– Daily Trust