PENGASSAN National Chairman Festus Osifo told the Senate Committee Investigation into Oil Theft and Theft chaired by Senator Akpan Bassey that the crime was a crime of collaboration between military personnel tasked with protecting oil facilities and locals operating illegal refineries.
He alleged that the military and other security agencies were aiding and abetting criminals to steal the crude with the active connivance of the regulatory agencies in charge of the country’s oil industry.
Osifo has therefore challenged the regulatory agencies and the various security teams to be aware of their responsibilities in order to solve the problems.
He alleged that men from the Amphibious Squad and their Navy counterparts colluded with senior officers at various times in Port Harcourt to commit the crime. He added: “One of the biggest problems we have, which no one has pointed out, is that there is strong connivance of our security forces in the crime. there is no doubt. From our army to our naval officers, we have information that they pay their superiors to post them in certain areas of the Niger Delta.
“I can authoritatively inform this committee that men from the Nigerien army and navy are paying their superiors to be assigned to the Niger Delta. Even when the former commander of the amphibious brigade of Port Harcourt was relieved of his duties, many men in the command resisted their posting due to the ‘lucrativeness’ of their operational areas.”
The Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services and Administration of the Nigerian Development Commission upstream oil regulation, Mr. Jide Adeola, said about 165, 000 barrels of crude oil were stolen per day. According to him, “A Today, Nigeria produces 1.23 million barrels of crude oil per day against 1.8 million barrels targeted, resulting in total revenue loss, to date, of $2.1 billion or N 165billion.”
The chairman of the co Mite, Akpan Bassey, said he had never seen “economic sabotage of this magnitude and must be stopped”.
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