- Water-tight security in Kano •7 churches, 8 shops razed - Police
- Terror suspect nabbed with N3m •As army uncovers bomb factory
- 2012, deadliest year for journalists - UN
- Court adjourns on missing N12.4bn oil windfall
- Why we cleared Molete under-bridge - Oyo govt
- Court jails courier over $286,400 cash
- Court rejects fridge repairer’s plea to keep Ibori’s bribe money
- Oyo to involve artisans in N.5bn schools rehabilitation contracts
- All set for LG poll today in Benue
- Mrs Braithwaite buried amid encomiums
- Forget presidency, Jonathan’s aide tells ex-military rulers
- FG sends delegation to Onaiyekan’s consecration, Suntai
Revealed: Those Behind Illegal Oil Bunkering
The figure represents the total cost in the international market of 180,000 barrels being lost to illegal oil bunkering per day, whereas the nation’s daily oil output is about two million barrels.
Deeply concerned by the menace, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, had acknowledged the rising incidence of oil theft in the last 12 months.
It was discovered that one of the cabals involved in the shady deal comprised some top military brass, who have continued to wield an enormous influence within the polity.
According to findings, another group includes some powerful players in the industry, who usually collude with certain external forces within and outside the shores of the country to perpetrate the act of economic sabotage.
The third category was said to comprise members of some Niger Delta militants, who were not captured in the amnesty programme introduced in 2009 by the government for militants that surrendered their arms.
A source in the Niger Delta said the last three months had witnessed an upsurge in the business, adding that the trend had “become more sophisticated than it was prior to the declaration of amnesty in 2009.”
Curiously, while the leaders of ex-militant groups, who embraced amnesty were reportedly disposed to stopping the menace, there were others who were either not part of the amnesty programme or were not noticed during the Niger Delta crises and had sprung up to engage in the business.
As the situation worsened, the security outfit in the Niger Delta otherwise known as “Operation Puloshield,” (JTF) was already receiving knocks from a section of Niger Delta politicians and businessmen over its alleged complicity in the activities of the hoodlums.
A major player in the oil industry from Rivers State said, “if there is a rise in the activities of these oil thieves, then the question should be directed at JTF and not those of us in the oil industry. Ask them what their presence on the waters is. It either means that they are not up to the task or because of their complicity that
the activities of oil thieves are on the rise. I can say that most of the JTF officials in Niger Delta are representing the interest of one military general or the other. That is why they cannot contain it.”
The oil magnet, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said the only way out of the problem was for the government to ensure that those ex-militant leaders, who were working hard to sustain peace in the region were involved without delay in the policing of the water.
He, however, expressed worry that some estranged interests from outside the Niger Delta, were deliberately frustrating such moves.
Another player in the oil servicing sector corroborated the claim and even declared that the rate of oil theft had become more frightening.
The source, who was a former commissioner in Bayelsa State, said the situation required urgent government attention.
“The incidence of oil theft in this region is very disturbing because it is worse than militancy. What we now see is the outright collaboration of some security men in the business. They are either there or they are represented by some of their proxies in the region. Some of them sponsor jobless youths in the region to engage in oil theft,” he alleged.Share