The minister highlighted the recent successes of her ministry.
The Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, said on Friday that the Joint Task Force (JTF) operating in the Niger Delta had destroyed 3,778 illegal refineries in the last one year.
Mrs. Obada said this at the Ministerial Platform in Abuja.
She said the task force known as Operation PULO SHIELD was established with the aim of protecting oil installations and curbing oil theft.
According to her, there has been enhanced protection of oil and gas facilities through increase of air and ground patrols of pipeline networks to deter vandals from sabotage activities.
“While criminality in the industry has not been completely eliminated, efforts of the Joint Task Force had reduced the level of crude oil theft drastically within the period under review. And the conduct of` incisive anti-illegal oil bunkering patrols led to the arrest of 1,653 suspects and destruction of 3, 778 illegal refineries within the past one year.Similarly, 120 barges, 878 Cotonou boats, 161 tanker trucks, 178 illegal fuel dumps and 5,238 surface tanks were destroyed by the Joint Task Force,” she revealed.
The minister said that within the last one year, the task force had destroyed militant camps at Oron in Akwa Ibom State; Ikang in Cross River State; Feropa in Bayelsa State and; Ojoma Creek and Ferukpakame Community in River State.
Mrs. Obada said troops were deployed on the most critical platforms on a 24-hour basis to enhance their security.
The minister said following the declaration of State of Emergency in three states by President Goodluck Jonathan, Operation BOYANA was established to curtail the excesses of the Boko Haram sect.
She said that the operation has been successful as the insurgents had been dislodged from their strong hold at Sambisa forest.
Mrs. Obada said that restoration of normalcy and confidence building between the troops and the populace and the operations of the joint task force had made Maiduguri and environs untenable for the miscreants.
She also highlighted other successes acheived by the joint task force to include the destruction of some identified Improvised Explosives (IEDS) production factories and the recovery of large caches of arms, ammunition and explosives.
Mrs. Obada said the JTF had also identified, monitored and controlled the influx of illegal immigrants into Borno and the repatriation of some aliens.