The Joint Military Taskforce (JTF) in the Niger-Delta, code-named “Operation Delta Safe”, says its operations in the region have led the increase of oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day.
The Commander of the force, Rear Adm. Apochi Suleiman, disclosed this at the command’s headquarters in Yenagoa on Monday, when the leadership of the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), presented him with an award of excellent service.
Sulaiman said that the country’s oil production had increased to 2.2 million barrels per day from 900, 000 barrels per day because of the significant progress recorded in the fight against pipeline vandalism, militancy, and kidnapping, among other issues.
The force commander said that oil production rate had fallen to about 900,000 barrels per day three years ago just before the JTF was reorganised and repositioned for improved performance.
“As at the time we took over the leadership of this operation, the oil production of the country was at 900, 000 barrels per day.
“Today, due to our operational activities and commitment to providing an enabling environment for business to thrive, oil production has increased to 2.2 million barrels per day.
“Many oil firms have come here to commend us for providing them the enabling environment (for business).
“We have received such feedback from Agip, which at a time, had shut down due to unsustainable levels of oil theft.
“We shall continue to do the best we can in line with our mandate of ‘Operation Delta Safe’, which is essentially to protect oil and gas infrastructure.
“We shall also deter and prevent militancy, sea robbery, and any other forms of criminality within the joint operation area, which will impact positively on the economy of this country.
“We shall always remain committed to this mandate; that is why we are encouraged to do more in providing security in the region,” he said.
The JTF commander expressed gratitude to the youth council for the award presented to him.
He pledged that the JTF would continue to work hard to ensure that crime was drastically reduced.
Speaking earlier, Mr Isah Abubakar, National President of the council, commended the military for their efforts in fighting crimes in the region.
Abubakar said that the JTF’s operations helped to bolster the country’s economy.
He explained that the award presented to the JTF commander was in appreciation of the force’s contributions toward a united and indivisible Nigeria.
“We appreciate the command’s service to humanity and the country. We see a reduction in kidnapping in this part of the country.
“We, the Northern Youth, are appealing for more collaborative efforts by security agencies for peace and tranquility in other parts of the country,” he said.