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NGO partners FG to end oil theft

A non governmental organisation, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, (CEPEJ) has sought for partnership with federal government on workable solutions that would end crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illicit and local burning of crude oil to produce substandard petroleum products.

The national coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Mulade Sheriff , who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Abuja, warned that burning of stolen crude oil boats caught in bunkering portended grievous dangers to the Ozone layer and currently destroys the Niger Delta ecosystem.

To this end, he lamented that the exercise which was carried out by security operatives was further endangering the health of Niger Deltans.

Sheriff said that the militarisation of the Niger Delta by the federal government in a bid to stop illegal oil bunkering and safeguard oil facilities has not yielded much result, adding that government lacked the requisite knowledge to address the problem.

He challenged President Muhammadu Buhari, and minister of state petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, to establish local industry- based integration programme as a social welfare scheme aimed at curbing destructive approach to the application of beneficial knowledge.

Sheriff lamented that Niger Deltans were no  longer safe under a depleted ozone layer, poisoned water, polluted air and degraded environment especially with the burning of boats loaded with suspected stolen crude oil.

He estimated that 9 -13 million barrels and 1.5 million tonnes of oil was illegally introduced into the Niger Delta ecosystem without remediation.

The environmentalist hinted that the problems bedeviling the Niger Delta environment was as a result of oil theft, unauthorised diversion of oil and use of vessels to transport illegally obtained crude oil which often leaked into water bodies.

Sheriff advised federal government that its impossible for the military personnel and gunboats deployed to the Niger Delta to save Nigeria from losing over 800, 000 barrels of crude oil per day to pipeline vandals.