The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said that the two Special Mission Aircrafts of the Deep Blue Project will be used to monitor oil pipelines and stop vandalism effectively.
The agency, however, promised to deploy a 24- hour surveillance against pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the nation.
Speaking at the just concluded 16th International Maritime Seminar for Judges in Abuja, the director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, noted that NIMASA is having discussions with the Nigerian Navy on the issue of suppressing oil theft in Nigeria.
He added that with the agency’s two Special Mission Aircrafts of the Deep Blue Project, oil pipelines can be effectively monitored as he assured that before the end of July, NIMASA will expand the operations of the Deep Blue Project for round-the-clock surveillance of the pipelines in order to ensure that there is no leakage or any form of oil theft.
In his words: “NIMASA is having discussions with a Nigerian Navy on the issue of suppressing oil theft. About one and half months ago, the Nigerian Navy destroyed quite a number of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region and this is ongoing in the south-south region.
“On the part of NIMASA, we have two special mission aircraft and three special mission helicopters. The two special mission aircraft have the capacity of viewing whatever happens within the pipeline.
We are now expanding the operations of the Deep Blue project for a 24/7 surveillance of the pipelines to ensure that there are no leakages on these pipelines. I think before the end of this month, this operation will commence and we are going to be doing it jointly with the Nigerian Navy.
“As soon as we discover any lapses, we will draw the attention of the Nigerian Navy for intervention”, Jamoh concluded.
Also speaking, the Nigerian Navy Director of Legal Service, Commodore J.A.S Malafa who was represented by Commander O.B Anyikwa stated that, in the quest to fight against oil theft, the Federal Government has introduced a modular refinery that can give license to individuals, companies or states to be able to refine petroleum products.