Monday 25 March 2013

Nigeria: 'Security Agencies Have Case to Answer On Oil Bunkering'

The Federal Government and the various security agencies have been blamed for the rate at which oil theft has been going on in the country.
Director-General of the Braced Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, who stated this, Thursday, blamed the increasing theft of the nation’s common wealth on what he described as a collaboration between the Federal Government and the security agencies.
The Braced Commission comprises Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta States.
Speaking at the summit on Oil Theft, Poverty and Violence in the Nigeria Delta held at Le’Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, Keshi said the whole scenario of oil theft raises a lot of questions on the Federal Government and the security agencies.
“The whole scenario raises a lot of questions and the answers are in no way complementary to the Federal Government and to the security services under whose watchful eyes the nation’s wealth are stolen in a collaborative venture in which the services are suspected to be deeply involved,’’ he said.
The Director General, who was represented by the secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Remeo Isokariri, warned that if the situation was not tackled immediately, the activities of the cartel could constitute a great danger to the Nigerian political process.
According to him, ‘’There is also the present and future danger that the criminals and their benefactors could grow so powerful and be tempted to hijack the political process and already, we have enough share of criminals in the political system.’’
He said the lesson Nigeria must learnt from crisis management is that if more actors and interests are allowed to get involved, resolving the crisis would become complicated and intractable.
Stressing on the need to act now to secure the future and the environment, Keshi said the summit was designed to address the challenges in the sector.
Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Mr. Kemi Okenyodo, in a remark, said cruel oil theft in the Niger Delta has become a big business on an industrial scale.
He expressed the fear that if the trend is not checked, it could constitute a great to fishing and farming as these professions could become extinct in the near future.
According to Okenyodo , estimates from informed sources within the oil industry suggest that the country losses several billion of naira monthly to oil theft .
He noted that the there are evidences that the many arms circulating in the Niger Delta Region including sophisticated weapon have been purchased with money derived directly or indirectly from oil bunkering.



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