Major General Ebibowei Awala, Chief of Training and Operation (CTOP), Defence Headquarters, has commended the Joint Task Force (JTF) for its determination to stamp out oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Awala made the commendation in Yenogoa on Wednesday during an operational visit to the Headquarters of the JTF.
The CTOP said the task force’s effective performance through the ‘Operation PULO SHIELD’, was yielding positive result in the fight against oil bunkering and theft in the region.
He noted that illegal oil bunkering and other criminalities had hindered the economic growth of the region and the nation in general.
According to him, the oil sector is the major source of revenue which must be protected by all means against economic saboteurs.
He commended the JTF Commander, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, and his troops for their doggedness and determination in carrying out the mandate of the JTF with professionalism.
Awala used the forum to call on troops to be good ambassadors of their various arms by adhering strictly to the code of conduct of the JTF.
“You must desist from any act capable of tarnishing and undermining the activities of the task force. Integrity should be your watch word,” he said.
He assured the troops of the support of the Defence Headquarters through the provision of adequate logistics and welfare of personnel for effective policing of the water ways of the Niger Delta.
In his remarks, the JTF Commander, Atewe thanked the CTOP for the visit, saying that it was a morale booster to troops in the command.
Atewe assured him of his determination to stamp out all form of illegalities in the Niger Delta, especially in the area of oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
He said the JTF, under his command, had intercepted and arrested 17 vessels and 20 barges used for illegal oil bunkering within the past three months.
He added that illegal oil refineries were also destroyed in line with the mandate of the JTF.