The Defence Headquarters on Friday said troops in the South-South region recovered stolen crude oil and other related products valued at N2.6n.

According to the DHQ, a total of 3,282,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 224,050 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 5,925 litres of DPK were recovered between January 27 and February 16.

In addition, 131 dugout pits, 67 illegal refining sites, and 125 storage tanks were discovered and destroyed, while a total of 104 suspected oil thieves were apprehended.

This was contained in a statement by the Director,  Defence Media Operations,  Maj. Gen. Edward Buba.

The statement read, “In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of N2,602,902,800.00 only. Troops also arrested 104 perpetrators of oil theft.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 131 dugout pits, 70 boats, 125 storage tanks, 12 motorcycles, 2 tricycles and 12 vehicles. Other items recovered included 43 cooking ovens, 12 pump machines, 6 speedboats, one outboard engine, and 67 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 3,282,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 224,050 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 5,925 litres of DPK.”

The country is grappling with a significant issue of oil theft, causing substantial adverse impacts on economic growth, business opportunities, and oil companies’ profit margins.

According to the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Ogbonnaya Orji more than N4.3tn worth of crude oil was stolen in 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases within five years.

Buba also said a total of 254 terrorists were killed, while 264 were arrested.

He said, “During the week under review troops recorded the following: troops neutralised 254 and arrested 264. Troops also rescued 73 kidnapped hostages.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 378 assorted weapons and 4,705 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: 131 AK47 rifles, 2 FN rifles, 2 G3 rifle, 3 SMGs, 69 locally fabricated guns, 57 pump action guns, 7 pistols, 14 locally fabricated pistols, 5 revolver rifles, 4 revolver pistols, 45 Dane guns, 4 locally made single barrel, and 2 hand grenades, 7 RPG Launchers, one RPG bomb, one locally made double barrel gun, 17 Dane gun double barrel and IEDs.

“Others are 2,444 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,712 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 80 rounds of 9mm ammo, 61 rounds of 5.45 x 39mm ammo, 6 rounds of 0.44-inch ammo, 415 live cartridges, 10 empty cases of cartridges, 11 magazines, 18 vehicles, 40 motorcycles, 74 mobile phones, four baofeng radios and the sum of N748,430.00 amongst other items.”