National News

House Chairman Ereyitomi Leads Crusade Against Oil Thieves, Backs Tantita Security Services

Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Training Funds), has called for an extension of the contract and scope of operations for Tantita Security Services Nigeria Ltd. (TSSNL) in the wake of recent successes in combating oil theft.

In an open letter addressed to President Bola Tinubu, Mr. Ereyitomi highlighted the critical role played by Tantita Security Services in intercepting thieving vessels and reducing oil theft in the Niger Delta region. He emphasized the need for prompt action to renew and expand the firm’s contract to ensure continued collaboration with security agencies in combating economic sabotage.

Mr. Ereyitomi commended Tantita’s efforts in intercepting oil bunkering vessels and their relentless pursuit of oil thieves, citing recent joint operations with the Nigerian Navy that resulted in significant arrests. He urged President Tinubu to extend Tantita’s contract and expand its scope of operation to address challenges in areas requiring special attention.

The lawmaker stressed the importance of securing Nigeria’s waterways from oil theft and economic sabotage, noting Tantita’s crucial role in restoring oil production and maintaining security in the region.

In conclusion, Mr. Ereyitomi appealed to President Tinubu to expedite the renewal and expansion of Tantita’s contract, underscoring the need for continued efforts to combat oil theft and protect Nigeria’s oil assets.

The letter reads in full, “Your Excellency, this open letter is a follow up to the one I sent to you on the 30th August, 2023. It is on the same subject matter of pipelines surveillance contracts in the Niger Delta.

In the first letter, I reviewed the sterling performance of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL), one of the private security companies hired by the Federal Government for surveillance of oil pipelines.

I made it known to Mr. President that Tantita holds the revered position of primus inter pares amongst security firms engaged by the federal authorities to provide surveillance for pipelines in the Niger Delta, and that the company’s contract should be renewed to encourage its management for better future performance.

Since my letter was published, which I believe was brought to your attention, the NNPCL has procrastinated for 6 (six) months over the Tantita contract renewal.

This is unfair.

What is to be done, should be done well and quickly too. The delay of action is not good.

As you are aware, Mr. President, crude oil daily production has kept improving. It shows some people work day and night to ensure a turnaround, and those responsible for the feat, the government must encourage.

Recent events and development made me want to contact you again on the same matter.

You may wonder why I keep drumming up support for Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited? Wondering whether I am their special purpose advertising vehicle or the company’s megaphone.

Well, I am non of that. I do what am doing to intimate Mr. President and the relevant authorities of the firm’s commitment to duty and how it has restored oil production in areas were non has been produced for years.

The Presidency under Muhammadu Buhari had a touch of genius to have recognized the potentials of Tomoplo & his Tantita outfit. The company has done well in the protection of pipelines and other federal government oil assets in the Niger Delta.

Crude production has risen steadily over time, oscillating between 1.4 – 1.6 million barrels per day, from a pittance 650 thousand barrels, before the intervention by Tantita.

Operatives of Tantita Security working in a collaborative synergy with a detachment of government special task force, set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, recently launched an unending, ruthless and relentless, well synchronized siege on unrepentant criminals and oil thieves in the Niger Delta. So far, the results have been very encouraging.

In the last three weeks, two heavy duty oil bunkering vessels – MT Kali & MT Harbour Spirit, both with capacity to lift hundred of thousands tonnes of crude oil, were intercepted and apprehended during the joint operations of Tantita and the Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla special forces. The two arrests signal a new threshold for potential gains in a marriage of the Nigerian Navy and Tantita.

This is a major win in the battle to rid the nation’s waterways of oil thieves and economic saboteurs.

When a child says his mother won’t sleep, that child won’t sleep either.

These efforts of Tantita are commendable. The company remains resolute under many odds. It is still delivering, raising the hope that there is a silver lining in the sky for the nation’s economy.

Tantita is dug in the trench in readiness for battle against the criminals. It has secured Delta State. It is currently working round the clock to sanitize the Bayelsa terrains.

Hence, I once again approach Mr. President to ask that Tantita’s contract be renewed to prop up the morale of its operators.

Most importantly, I ask that the scope of Tantita’s contract be expanded to areas considered problematic and requires special attention and sanitization. Our people say, when it is good for the soil, it will also be good for the yam.

Your Excellency, I seize this medim to advocate that Tantita’s scope of job be expanded and extended into the deep sea and blue water, where the notorious oil buccaneers, mostly perfected their illicit trade and operated unhindered to ruin the nation’s economy. The present arrangement in which the private security operatives are restricted to the creeks and shallow waters, do not sufficientlyaddress concerted efforts to put the criminals under check. Private security outfits, especially Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited be allowed to function along with the Nigerian Navy in the deep sea and blue waters. Such synergy would go a long way to make it uncomfortable, if not impossible, for the oil thieves to operate.

Sir, the rate of economic sabotage in the creeks and shallow water is child’s play compared to the economic evils being unleashed on the nation by these unrepentant criminals in the deep sea and blue water.

It’s obvious that Nigerian Navy alone cannot deliver.

This letter should be treated with utmost sense of urgency.

The collapse in oil production because of criminal incursion brought a halt to many small businesses. The government must encourage Tantita to keep bringing order to the creeks, if the nation’s economy must come out of the brink.

So are small entrepreneurs that provide services to oil majors. It is a win win situation for everyone including the Federal Government.

The illegal crude bunkering brought ruination to the ecosystem of the Niger Delta. The vegetations, waterways and marine life were completely decimated by the illicit trade, which also goes hand in gloves with pipelines vandalization.

The gradual pushback of the criminals and the closure of many local oil refining camps in 3 years has gradually restored the ecosystem.

This has boosted a healthy living among the people.

Many have returned to their age long occupations of fishing and subsistence farming.

Not only that, the black smug polluted environment, known for causing cancer in the region is now clear. The demolition of illicit local refineries that dotted the region was invariably responsible. Tantita demolished every one of them, in Bayelsa and Delta States.

No one lights a lamp in the day to see the way. Tantita’s performance is very glaring.

Even Mr. President recently gave the security company a pat on the back for doing a good job.

So, it isn’t a favour, if its contract is expanded and renewed.

In countries where merit comes before any consideration, Tantita won’t need anyone to put in a word for its contract renewal. It would be done because the firm does its job very well.

As a Representative of the Warri Federal Constituency in the Green Chambers, the interest of the people is paramount to me. I know the level of work Tantita did to clear the area of economic saboteurs.

I have no personal benefits to get, my desire is the rejigging of the economy of Warri and its environ.

The people depend so much on the activities of oil major to take care of themselves.

I once again ask Mr. President to impress it on the management of the NNPCL to quickly accent to the renewal of Tantita’s expanded contract.

Support Quality Journalism in the Niger Delta Region

Join us in our mission to bring development journalism, cultural preservation, and environmental awareness to the forefront. Your contribution makes a difference in the lives of the people of the Niger Delta. Donate today and be a part of the change!