Abuja - Ade Abolurin, The Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has called for stiffer punishment against oil theft and destruction of petroleum pipelines.
Abolurin made the call in Abuja on Thursday at a press briefing on the corps’ readiness to tackle vandalism of public property in the country.
He said that NSCDC had embarked on enlightenment programmme to sensitise and educate Nigerians to the evils of vandalism, oil theft and illegal bunkering.
He said that the corps was also senitising Nigerians to the devastating effects of oil theft and vandalism on economic growth and development.
``We are seeking for legislation on which we can stand our ground and say no to oil theft and to ensure that people involved will face the wrath of the law.
``It will put a stop to such nefarious activities of vandals and the international community can collaborate in fighting oil theft and vandalism in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Abolurin said that a stiffer penalty for oil theft would discourage international patronage for stolen crude from Nigeria.
``It is when this is done that there will be reduction in oil theft, piracy, vandalism and illegal bunkering,’’ he said.
He stressed the commitment of NSCDC with other stakeholders to fight vandalism in Nigeria.
Abolurin said that the campaign would address the menace through surveillance, arrest, prosecution and enlightenment of local communities as well as collaboration and synergy with relevant agencies.
Responding to questions on security challenges in the country, he said that Nigeria was one of the safest countries for investors regardless of its negative international image.
``There is no society that is completely crime free, whether developed or underdeveloped.
``Therefore, whatever happens in Nigeria is less compared to what occurs in other countries of the world; it should not be seen as the only country with challenges.
``The NSCDC will not relent in executing its mandate, especially as it concerns the protection of lives, property and critical infrastructure of government, private and foreigners alike,’’ Abolurin said.
He said that the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) had assisted in the training of NSCDC personnel in different parts of the world.
He also said that the corps had established training institutes in different parts of the country to boost its manpower development.