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Crude Oil Theft: Why govt can’t stop Lagos, Abuja cartel — PANDEF, N-Delta leaders, activists – Vanguard News

By Vanguard News

•Challenge President Tinubu to summon political will to stop it

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Sam Oyadongha, Jimitota Onoyume, Egufe Yafugborhi, Emma Una, Chioma Onuegbu, Dan Abia, Emem Idio, Davies Iheamnachor & Ochuko Akuopha

LEADERS and activists in the South-South region said the massive networks of the “big players”, who steal the nation’s crude oil in politics, and the oil industry have made the government, which lacked political will, powerless in halting their activities over the years.

The stakeholders, speaking to Saturday Vanguard, on the backdrop of the recent claim by the former governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Seriake Dickson, that the “big players” behind crude oil theft reside in Abuja, Lagos, and other world cities, alleged that these big oil thieves enjoy protection from the government.

They interrogated the ill-starred partnership between the government and International Oil Companies, IOCs, stating that the cloudy arrangement constrains proper metering of the oil fields and crude oil exports.

Big oil thieves in govt, NNPCL, not N’Delta – PANDEF

The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, which is the mouthpiece of the traditional rulers, leaders, and people of the Niger Delta said the government has been unable to win the war against oil theft because those involved were part of the government. The spokesman of PANDEF, Hon. Ken Robinson said: “This is the position that PANDEF has repeated severally. We have re-echoed it that highly placed Nigerians, elements in the military, and officials in the oil industry in collaboration with international syndicates were perpetrating the oil theft in the Niger Delta. What is involved in the process of crude oil theft is demanding for the ordinary Niger Delta people. What our young people do in terms of these local refining of crude is bucket thief.

They are bucket thieves. It is insignificant compared with what these people, who do not want Nigeria to prosper, and the Niger Delta people to benefit from their God- given resources, take out of the country. There are international connections with people highly- placed in this country. The former governor of Bayelsa State is right when he said these people reside in Lagos, Abuja and other world capitals. They also live in other parts of Northern, Southern and Eastern Nigeria and across the country. They are not people of Niger Delta.

They have reduced the Niger Delta to a state of struggle. Niger Delta people are struggling for survival while billions of dollars are being stolen from their land. Their environment is being devastated and our young people are resorting to criminality, which ordinarily is not part of us. It is the level of people involved that has made it difficult for the government to stop it.

For instance, there are interests in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). The oil theft is not just about those who siphon, there is also official theft. There is even under declaration of what is taken out of the country, because as we speak, with the level of technology, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be in his office and have a system before him, indicating the amount of crude produced daily. He does not need someone in the NNPCL towers to tell him the daily produce. He should be seeing it. If it is loaded, there should be a tracking system. Those things are not being employed because even officials are under declaring what they make. Individuals make billions of dollars out of Niger Delta oil.”

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