22nd September, 2023
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) has called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately establish a new outfit known as Nigeria Coast and Boarder Guards (NCBG) that will include all government and private security arrangements as a standby force to tackle organized crime, especially crude oil theft and illegal bunkering in the maritime sector.
Aside from this, the group also said the Federal Government must also put in place mechanisms to mitigate the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, among others as parts of a measure to strengthen homeland security.
These were part of recommendations contained in a 19-point roadmap on sustainable ways to curb organized crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea which the group has submitted to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The recommendations were also contained in the communiqué, issued at the end of the National Conference on Organized Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (NACOCINAG) and the official launch of the Network on Organized Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (NOCINAG) by YEAC-Nigeria.
The Conference supported by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC)/Resilience Fund, Austria, was held in Port Harcourt, and declared open by former President Muhammadu Buhari through tweets to the conference.
The Executive Director of YEAC-Nigeria, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, in a statement on, Thursday, said the 19 recommendations made at the conference has been submitted to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and copied other relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government, the National Security Adviser including, the Service Chiefs among many others as their security formations were also part of the conference when it was held.
Fyneface said YEAC-Nigeria has been at the forefront of the campaign against pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, artisanal refineries, and pollution, hence it was imperative to submit the communiqué to Mr. President directly as certain recommendations required implementation by the Federal Government.
He added that the Federal Government should also liaise with other countries in the Gulf of Guinea through the Gulf of Guinea Commission to address the menace of organized crime in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, and the Gulf of Guinea.
The Advocacy Centre in the communiqué also recommended the immediate establishment of a Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI) proposed for the innovation, modernization, standardization, legalization, and integration of artisanal refineries into the national economy as a corresponding organized crime mitigation mechanism for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta.
The group noted for illegal gold miners in parts of North and Western Nigeria, there is already the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) established to mitigate organized crime in gold mining.
It recommended a presidential order for immediate issuance of licenses to the 18 Modular Refiners already approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari for artisanal refiners in the Niger Delta to mitigate organized crime and support sustainable youth empowerment.
The conference also urged the President to forge a partnership with other Presidents in the Gulf of Guinea for the establishment of an effective task force against organized crime to be known as “Taskforce Against Organized Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (TAOCINAG)”.
YEAC suggested a Presidential Directive to the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defense Intelligence, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Inspector General of Police, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Interior, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), etc. to collaborate with YEAC-Nigeria on the “Network on Organized Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (NOCINAG)” as a multi-stakeholder, inter-ministerial, interagency and civil-security relations’ intelligence gathering and sharing platform that generates information, data, intelligence and share with security formations and operatives to strengthen the fight against organized crime in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
YEAC commended President Tinubu for taking steps within his first 100 days in office to implement aspects of the communiqué through the approval for the review of the proposal for possible integration of artisanal refinery operations into the national economy through the Committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel T. Aduda.
Mr. Fyneface called on Mr. President to establish the Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI) as the blueprint for its effective take-off was already set out by YEAC-Nigeria.
Mr. Fyneface also called on all other stakeholders, including local and international development partners, to support the work, projects, and programmes of YEAC-Nigeria as a think tank on organized crime mitigation mechanisms in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.