…Calls For End Of Crude Oil Theft By May 29
Nigeria has finally set up a special court to expedite the trials of criminal elements involved in oil theft and pipeline vandalism. This follows widespread calls by Nigerians asking that issues around crude oil should not be treated like ordinary criminal cases
The group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, who dropped the hint in his address to the troops of the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, in Effurun, Delta state and Port Harcourt, Rivers state, confirmed that the federation government has set up a special court to expedite the trials of criminal elements involved in oil theft.
Kyari, who also expressed gratitude to the troops for the excellent work they were doing to restore confidence in the pipelines said he was sure that full confidence will be restored in crude oil production in the shortest possible time.
He also expressed confidence in the collaboration between security agencies and the private security company contracted by the NNPC Limited in the campaign to restore full confidence in the sector.
In his own address, the minister of petroleum resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies deployed to the Niger Delta region of the country to end the menace before he leaves office on May 29, 2023.
Sylvia who represented the substantive oil minister, President Muhammadu Buhari, said the administration said his administration can no longer tolerate the criminality.
Sylva quoted Mr. President, saying he “has mandated us to eradicate crude oil theft. He has directed that no liter of crude oil should be stolen in the country again especially in the South South.
“He wants crude oil thieves completely eliminated by May 29, 2023 as one of the legacies of his government. This is the message from Mr. President. We are not where we want to be but we are happy at what we are seeing”, he said.
He noted that prior to the renewed efforts of the government in tackling the menace of crude oil thieves, the nation’s daily crude oil production was about 900,000 barrels per day but the scaled up security efforts of the government has helped to shore up production to about 1.5 million barrels per day.
“I am happy to hear that morale is high here. We were here a few months ago to hand over the mandate of Mr. President to you and that is to ensure that there is zero tolerance for crude oil theft in the region. We want to thank you for what you have done so far but there is still more to be done for us to achieve 100%,” Sylva said.
He noted that “Nigerians have noticed what you are doing, the managers in the oil industry have noticed what you are doing and indeed the international community have noticed what you are doing. We are happy at the improvement we are seeing in the oil and gas sector.
“We have seen the significant improvement and that’s why we are here on the mandate of the president to thank you for what you are doing. He has said there should be no reason why we (Nigeria) should be losing an essential commodity that is the life wire of the country”.
By Bosco Agba