FG set up c’ttee to tackle illegal refineries in N/Delta

The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to tackle illegal refinery of crude oil in the Niger Delta region.

The acting solicitor-general of the federation (SGF) and permanent secretary in the federal ministry of justice, Umar Mohammed, who represented the minister, said the move was in a bid to block revenue leakages.

“The major mandate of the committee is to recover illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.

Members of the committee were drawn from the ministry of defence, army, navy, defence headquarters, civil defence corps and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Others are from the federal ministries of justice and environment, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.

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Recall that the military in August deactivated some illegal refineries in Niger Delta.

Troops of the Operation Delta Safe deactivated several illegal refining sites and recovered large volumes of refined petroleum products and crude oil in the region.

Acting director of defence information, Bernard Onyeuko (brigadier general), had disclosed the operations of the military in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta led to the discovery and deactivation of several illegal refining sites. A total of 21 ovens, 12 dugout pits and 58 metal storage tanks with 2.329 million litres of illegally refined diesel and 2.19 million litres of stolen crude oil were recovered.

Also recovered were two boilers and 750 bags of illegally refined petroleum products, one speed boat, one AK-47 rifle, one FN rifle, three smoke gun rifles, 12 fabricated RPGs, 263 live cartridges, 20 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and 7.62mm special ammunition among other items.

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