Tuesday 2 April 2013

‘How to end oil theft in Niger Delta’

UNTIL the country adopts good governance, deploys modern technology to monitor oil pipelines and ensures proper funding of security agencies, it will continue to face the challenges of crude oil theft and related vices ravaging the Niger Delta region.
This submission was contained in a communiqué issued by stakeholders at the end of oil and gas summit organised by CLEEN Foundation, in collaboration with the BRACED Commission, the summit held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke had early in the year urged all stakeholders to brainstorm on the best strategies to stem the tide of oil theft.
Already, the country was said to be losing yearly revenue of over $6 billion to this menace.
However, stakeholders at the summit believed that the problem was not intractable.
They urged the Federal Government to offer the type of governance that would guarantee the welfare of the citizens in the oil producing communities, as well as deploy multi-phase meters at the oil wells, flow stations and export terminal to determine quantity produced and stolen.
According to them, with such technology, there shall be no more secrecy and opaqueness in the volume of crude oil produced.
The communiqué stressed the need for the Federal Government to demonstrate the political will to enforce existing laws, promote capacity building, logistics and technological support to its agencies particularly the security and law enforcement agencies.
It also recommended the resuscitation of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, which was set up as a diplomatic channel to address some of the nation’s maritime security challenges.
The over-dependence on oil money, the summit noted, has created a major crisis of unemployment with its attendant criminality. This, according to the summit, can be stemmed when government deliberately diversifies the economy, thereby creating more jobs for the teeming idle youths.
The communiqué stated: “Oil producing states should synergize their actions and resources to address the challenges posed by oil theft; they should ensure the effective implementation of Global Memorandum of Understanding; and they should facilitate, through the Ministries of Information and the National Orientation Agency, awareness and sensitization campaigns for the communities on the negative impact of oil theft”.
It also urged civil society organisations to monitor and document compliance of oil companies to the implementation of voluntary principles on security and human rights, as well as advocate for the rights of security and law enforcement officials that die in the line of duty.
The partnership between CLEEN Foundation, a non-governmental organisation and the BRACED Commission, which serves as the secretariat and coordinating office of the South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Delta also got endorsement from Ford Foundation, West Africa.
Source: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118037:how-to-end-oil-theft-in-niger-delta-&catid=31:business&Itemid=562


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