The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta on Thursday, reiterated its determination to fight oil theft in the area.
The Commander, 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army and JTF Sector 2, Brig.-Gen. Osasogie Uzamere, made the declaration when he took delivery of three new gunboats in Port Harcourt. The gunboats were donated by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG).
Uzamere added that NLNG donated four fairly-used units of 200 horsepower gunboats to JTF Sub-sector 5, the 146 Battalion of the Army, in Bonny Island, Rivers.
He said shortage of gunboats and fast-assault craft had slowed down their renewed strategy to effectively patrol the creeks.
The delivery of seven 200 horsepower gunboats will speed up response of soldiers to reported crime scenes, and thereby improve the efficiency of our troops in policing waterways and creeks.
We are optimistic that the delivery of this equipment will enable us to effectively pursue our mandate to eliminate sea piracy, illegal bunkering and oil theft in the country.
Over the past few months, some organisations have also provided the 2 Brigade with gunboats, fast-assault crafts and radio accessories which had boosted our operations,‚Äù he said.
Uzamere thanked NLNG for its support and appealed to other corporate organisations to assist the JTF with the requisite equipment and logistics in its fight against oil theft in the region.
He also urged the people to continue to provide the JFT with information that would lead to the arrest of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
The Manager Corporate Security Services of NLNG, Dr Ahmed Acida, said the donation became necessary to curb the negative impact of oil theft on the nation‚Äôs economy.
He said the company was optimistic the equipment would improve the operations of the JTF in the Niger Delta.