Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, following a closed-door meeting with security chiefs in Abuja has promised immediate “robust” and “aggressive” actions to tackle the increasing issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting which lasted about two hours, the minister, however, declined answering any questions, citing “various security reasons” for her refusal.
Some pressing questions include persisting allegations of JTF, top government officials and political leaders’ complicity in oil theft and the seeming increasing marine insecurity despite the multi-million naira concession of the nation’s waterways to Global West Vessel Specialist owned by ex-militant leader Tompolo. Meanwhile, despite several claimed arrests of oil thieves by the JTF it is unclear if any have been charged or prosecuted for the crimes.
Oil industry experts estimate that the country loses over $6 billion in crude oil theft annually, with claims that the menace has increased under the Goodluck Jonathan led administration.
AMETO AKPE, Abuja