- Oil thieves across the country are said to exhibit some level of smartness in carrying out their criminal activities
- These thieves, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko said turn off the automatic identification system of the vessels before engaging in their stock in trade
- According to Bello-Koko, the Federal Government will go ahead and deploy the vessel traffic service (VTS) to monitor the activities around oil pipelines
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The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Tuesday, October 25, disclosed that oil thieves usually turn off the automatic identification system of the vessels before engaging in their criminal activities.
AIS is an automatic tracking system that uses transceivers on ships and is used by vessel traffic services.
Mohammed Bello-Koko while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja said the oil thieves will always turn off the system to avoid detection of their activities.
Bello-Koko noted that it has become common for criminals on the waterways across the country to turn off the AIS.
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Fielding questions from reporters on the recent arrest of stolen crude near the Escravos channel, Bello-Koko said the oil thieves come into the country legally but then they go by the left-hand side to commit illegal activities after switching off their AIS.
"We are going ahead to deploy the vessel traffic service (VTS) and to also have information in terms of vessel movement.
“Each of the buoys which serve as navigational route signs costs between N12 million and N20 million, whereas no fewer than 25 of this maritime safety equipment have been stolen from Nigerians waters this year alone."
To checkmate the criminal activities, Bello-Koko said the NPA is interacting with the locals and their leaders in communities where the theft occurs.
“We believe probably the communities do not even know the individuals that are involved in these activities.
So we are monitoring the buoys. And that is how we got to know how many are stolen any day it is stolen.
“Because the captains are also taking vessels in and out of the water channels, they will naturally know when they can’t find the beacons on the buoys meaning that something is missing, and they normally report it.”
Good news for Nigerian business owners as NPA takes strategic decision over maritime logistics
The assurance was handed to Nigerians by the managing director of the Nigerians Ports Authority Mohammed Bello Koko.
Koko confirmed that the NPA would put measures in place, including private-sector partnerships to improve delivery on the maritime logistics value chain.
Nigerian Ports Authority secures fresh approval for designation of important sea port in southwest region
Approval had been secured for the designation of the Lekki Deep Seaport as a customs port and approved wharf.
This approval was received by the Nigerian Ports Authority from President Muhammadu Buhari the agency said.
According to the NPA, the presidential approval for the port as a customs port and approved wharf is in line with the requirements of the law.