Get Rid of Oil Theft, Assets Vandalism, NDDC Boss Tasks Security Agencies

In a bid to bridge the developmental gaps, protect the territorial integrity and its regional assets in Niger Delta states, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has called on the security agencies operating within the Niger Delta region to go after criminals destroying the economic assets and infrastructure in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

NDDC Drector, who made the call when the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Alonyenu Idu and the Commander, Joint Task Force South-South, Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral John Okeke, separately paid him a courtesy visit in different occasions, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt; advised the security agencies to expand the scope of their operations to include protecting development projects being executed by the commission.

While thanking the Bayelsa State Police Command for deploying modern technology to fight crime, he announced that the commission also appreciated the services of the police to the society; maintaining that as an interventionist agency, the Commission had a responsibility to make sure that those who protected the lives and property of the people were given the necessary backing to enhance their capacity to maintain security in the Niger Delta region.

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Furthermore, he maintained that in addition to guarding the region’s economic assets, it is important to also protect NDDC projects in remote communities; hinting that the Commission is providing electricity in the communities and they need the protection of those facilities because some criminals are vandalizing their power infrastructure.

According to him: “Peace is a prerequisite for development, and our collaboration with these agencies is crucial in achieving our goals. We recognise the intrinsic link between security and development, which is why we have forged partnerships with security agencies.

“If the region is peaceful, development will be rapid. I cannot fail to attest to the fact that the crime rate in Bayelsa State has reduced. I want to commend you for using technology to tackle crime in the Niger Delta and we are willing to partner with you, to assist you fight crime in the region.

The NDDC has always been at the fore in supporting the police. We have executed a lot of projects to support the police. Last year, we assisted the security agencies in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States in acquiring some security equipment.

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“The ‘Light Up The Niger Delta’ through solar street lights has played a significant role in enhancing security in the Niger Delta region. The area has experienced a period of relative peace, thanks to the vigilance and intelligence efforts of the security agencies.”

Also speaking, Commander, Joint Task Force South-South, Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral John Okeke, who spoke on this note, commended the commission for co-perating with security agencies working in the Niger Delta region to ensure peace, also for providing solar-powered streetlights in their operational base in Bayelsa State; and appealed for more support in providing facilities to enhance their operations.

“The NDDC plays a crucial role in mitigating militancy in the Niger Delta region, while the Joint Task Force (JTF) has been instrumental in ensuring the safety of oil-producing communities and collaborating with International Oil Companies to achieve this goal.

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“We will continue to protect the territorial integrity of the country and all its national assets”, he stated.

In the same vein, Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Francis Idu, revealed that the command had been able to do some crime mapping through the use of digital technology to fight crime but are constrained by inadequate fund, appealing for assistance in acquiring more drones and upgrading some critical facilities for the police command in order to achieve their goals.

By Aligwe Stella, P/H