The Federal Government, in conjunction with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, have begun tactical meetings aimed at evolving new strategies to halt crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism across the country.
In a meeting held at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja on Friday, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, met with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba; representatives of the Inspector-General of Police, senior officials from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and executive members of the corporation.
After the two-hour meeting behind closed door, Alison-Madueke told journalists that the country’s economy was being drawn backwards by the continued nuisance perpetrated by crude oil thieves.
She said, “In the last one year, with the oil stakeholders working together, we have been able to reduce the incidence of crude oil theft and, of course, deferment with our production.
“But as it continues to be a menace in our country, and it affects, of course directly, our economy, I think it has become necessary for stakeholders to come together and re-strategise on what to do to ensure that we focus in a very robust and aggressive manner on this particular problem that is directly affecting us in more ways than one.”
She said the government would continue to involve law enforcement agencies and stakeholders in order to come up with results that would finally rest the problem of crude oil theft.
She added, “This is just one of the series of meetings and discussions that are being held over this period of time and will continue to be held. Very robust and realisable actions are coming out of these discourses and they will cover the short and medium terms.