Senate moves to tackle alleged oil theft by security forces, militia groups

The Senate has mandated its committees on Petroleum Resources, (Upstream, downstream,) Gas, Host communities and Niger Delta to conduct investigation on oil theft in the region.

It specifically mandated the committees to investigate the actions of security forces, militia groups, local populace, company employees, and any individuals or entities suspected to be using sophisticated methods to pilfer from oil facilities within the country.

The resolution was sequel to adoption of a motion at plenary on Tuesday on ‘Urgent need to investigate incessant and nefarious acts of crude oil thefts in Niger- Delta region’.

The motion was sponsored by Ned Nwoko (PDP- Delta) and co-sponsored by SeEde Dafinone and J.Thomas.

Mr Nwoko, in his lead debate, said Nigeria was largely dependent on crude oil for its economic growth and development.

Nwoko said: “Despite the efforts of certain military personnel and security agencies, like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Department of State Services (DSS) in combating oil theft in the Niger Delta region, there are individuals within these institutions who engage in illicit activities.

“It has come to attention that oil theft in Nigeria thrives due to a troubling collaboration between security forces, militia groups, the local population, and certain employees within oil companies.”

Urging the Senate to investigate the matter, Nwoko added: “In 2022, it was reported that Nigeria suffered daily losses of approximately 437,000 barrels of crude oil amounting to $23 million, due to criminal activities.

“In March 2023, Nigeria incurred a substantial loss of 65.7 million barrels of crude oil, valued at $83 per barrel, translating to a staggering revenue loss of N2.3 trillion.”

The Senate, consequently, directed its committees on petroleum resources, host communities, and Niger Delta affairs to probe the matter. In his remarks, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said oil theft had impacted negatively on production capacity. He asked the committees to report back in six weeks.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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