As is usual on weekly basis, Senior Research Fellows and Subject Experts at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre Abuja on Friday 28th July 2023 made presentations on their areas of expertise at Hall C, TY Buratai Block of the Centre. In his submission, Brigadier General SN Eze, an expert on Southeast Asia affairs, focused his presentation on Indonesia’s recent seizure of an Iranian-flagged tanker suspected of illegal oil transfer after a general overview on the Southeast Asia.
The expert shed light on the discreet siphoning of oil from legal storage tanks, which is then sold on the black market. He further highlighted the alarming cases of thefts at sea and even hijackings of entire ships to steal their fuel. Corruption and maritime security were identified as key factors contributing to this rampant crime.
The presentation included a comparative analysis of the situation between Southeast Asia and Nigeria. He emphasized the impacts and potential lessons that Nigeria could learn from the ongoing challenges in the region, highlighting the detrimental effects on national security. Infrastructure, corruption, the judiciary, and security were identified as major obstacles facing Nigeria’s maritime sector. It was underlined that the illegal trade of stolen crude oil not only causes significant economic losses but also perpetuates corruption, environmental devastation, and social instability in the country.
In conclusion, he acknowledged the uphill battle against piracy, crude oil theft, and corruption in Nigeria’s maritime sector. Nonetheless, Brigadier General Eze recommended that with adequate measures and strong collaboration among all stakeholders, the situation can be addressed. It was stressed that sustaining the momentum in the fight against crude oil theft is crucial, as Nigeria has experienced a surge in such incidents in its oil-producing region, worsening the nation’s revenue challenges.
The event was attended by notable figures including the Director General of NARC, Major General GA Wahab, senior research fellows, research fellows, consultants, senior officers, and other staff members.