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Oil theft: We’ll go after masterminds, proffer sustainable solutions, Ndiomu reassures

By Clarkson Voke Eberu
24 January 2023   |   2:27 pm
Chairman of the Federal Government's Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), has reassured Nigerians of his team's commitment to sticking to its mandate of investigating and identifying perpetrators of the economic sabotage, as well as coming up with lasting solutions. Ndiomu, who doubles as Interim Administrator of the Presidential…

Chairman of the Federal Government’s Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), has reassured Nigerians of his team’s commitment to sticking to its mandate of investigating and identifying perpetrators of the economic sabotage, as well as coming up with lasting solutions.

Ndiomu, who doubles as Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), gave the reassurance when he led members of the panel on a courtesy visit to Delta State Government in Asaba, Monday.

He said members of his team had begun visiting sites, and oil platforms and engaging stakeholders for useful information to aid their job.

The chairman, while urging support, pledged that the recommendations of the panel would not end on dusty shelves like previous committees and bodies set up by successive administrations.

He submitted that there has been a remarkable boost in crude oil production, attributing the development to the recent engagement of Tanita Security Sevices Limited by the Federal Government.

Ndiomu said the security firm, owned by an ex-agitator, High Chief Government Ekpemukolo (aka Tompolo) has been able to track oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Responding, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa charged stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to collaborate against crude theft and pipeline vandalism.

Represented by his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, the governor lauded the Federal Government for raising the panel, admitting that the nation was losing billions of naira to oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

He observed that the losses were huge and affected Nigeria’s mono-economy that largely depends on proceeds from crude oil.

Okowa recollected that several committees and panels had been set up in the past by successive administrations without positive outcomes.

He, therefore, expressed the hope that the current panel would not go the way of previous ones, adding that if its recommendations are implemented, they would uncover effects, and causes and offer a path to the menace.

The governor pledged to furnish the team with relevant information that would enable it to discharge the onerous task creditably.

He told his visitors that his administration had adopted measures by to address pipeline vandalism and oil theft.

He listed the Delta State Waterways and Land Security, and Delta State Committee Against Oil Assets Destruction, among others as some of them put in place to deepen engagements with stakeholders with a view to taming the twin economic sabotage.

The investigative panel was inaugurated last month by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd).