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Reps asks security operatives to halt illegal refineries, probe alleged complicity

By Msugh Ityokura, Abuja
19 January 2022   |   2:39 am
House of Representatives, yesterday, decried alleged involvement of security agencies and influential individuals in illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta region, even as it asked the police

House of Representatives. Photo/FACEBOOK/SPEAKERGBAJA

House of Representatives, yesterday, decried the alleged involvement of security agencies and influential individuals in illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta region, even as it asked the police and others to bring the illegal act to an end.

The lawmakers expressed worry that if the trend continued unabated, the region would face health challenges and economic activities would be adversely affected.

At the resumption of plenary, yesterday, the member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Unyime Idem, moved a motion to address the issue under matters of urgent public importance.

The motion was tagged: “The urgent need to curb activities of illegal crude oil refineries in the Niger Delta Region to end the soot currently experienced in the region.”

He regretted that, for years, the region had been plagued by activities of illegal oil refineries to the detriment of residents and the economy of the country.

The illegal activities, he noted, had compounded age-long environmental pollution and degradation caused by exploration activities of multinational oil companies.

According to the lawmaker, illegal activities have also disrupted the economic activities of residents, caused severe health hazards, robbed the country of critical revenue, and aggravated pollution in the region.

The House called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to clamp down on the activities of illegal refiners in the region.

The lawmakers also asked the Federal Government, through relevant ministries, to develop modalities to clear the soot currently experienced in Rivers State and other parts of the region.

The lower chamber further mandated its committees on Police Affairs, Navy, Army, Defence and Interior to investigate the alleged involvement of security agencies in illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta.