Assessing the effectiveness of government security agencies in oil pipelines security management in Nigeria
: a case study of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

  • Christopher Patrick Udoaka

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Nigeria is a mono-economy nation depending on the petroleum sector for her foreign exchange earnings. Its oil industry faces a major challenge of vandalism of oil pipelines, where recorded incidents have varied between 3 and 10 every day during the last 15 years. The aims of this research were to examine the problem of petroleum products pipelines vandalism in Nigeria and make recommendations for improving the national response to the problem, with the specific objectives of examining the nature and extent of the problem, identifying the strategies and tactics being employed to address the problem, and examining the strengths and limitations of the current measures. The extant literature indicates that vandalism of oil pipelines is a global phenomenon, against which most oil and gas producing countries deploy equipment and technologies in conjunction with security forces to protect their oil and gas facilities. The methodology adopted for this study was qualitative in nature, comprising semi-structured interviews with ten NSCDC anti-vandalism personnel from Niger Delta states’ commands and headquarters; twelve other critical stakeholders encompassing the security joint-task force (JTF) personnel, multi-national oil companies’ senior managers, leaders of oil-producing host communities, NGO managers, senior personnel in private security companies (PSCs) and other physical security experts.

The participant accounts suggest that vandalism of oil pipelines in Nigeria is multifaceted, requiring a combination of methodologies and tactics to combat it. They included details of a massive deployment of security forces to the Niger Delta region to combat oil pipelines vandalism, reporting positive results from NSCDC personnel deployment to Niger Delta region in the form of arrests of the perpetrators and foreign collaborators, and seizures of their vessels. At the same time, however, it was reported that the militarization of the oil producing communities increases tension, escalates violence and leads to human rights abuses. The research recommendations include evolving alternatives away from the current measures which emphasise security forces deployment to combat vandalism of oil pipelines; investment in the deployment of physical security in combination with the security forces in a more integrated manner, provision of social amenities in the oil producing communities, seeking international collaboration, provision of job opportunities for the youths of the Niger Delta region, identification and apprehending of the sponsors of oil pipelines vandals, and also learning best practices from other oil and gas producing countries.
Date of AwardSept 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorRichard Kapend (Supervisor) & Alison Jean Wakefield (Supervisor)

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