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Rivers Intensifies Moves To End Bunkering

The Rivers state government at the weekend said it has intensified effort to end illegal bunkering and save the state from the black soot by building mega filling stations across the state.

Dr. Peter Medee, the state Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, who disclosed this in his office in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital explained that the essence of the mega fuel stations, “if approved would take the market from the bunkerers because people would not naturally want to buy adulterated product when the can easily buy from government pump”.

He said that committee had been set up to talk with those who are engaged in bunkering to refrain from it as it was not only dangerous to the environment, but to human lives also, hence, the need to save the environment.

Dr. Medee stated that the inter-ministerial committee which is directly headed by the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo is already interfacing with community leaders including monarchs to dissuade the young ones from the illegal business.

The Commissioner noted that effort was also on the way to obtain license from the Federal government for the construction of modular refineries where those who are currently engaging on bunkering could be redeployed there to do a more legal and civilized refining.

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters said military has intensified its aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, bunkering, economic saboteurs and other criminal activities in the country.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said this while giving weekly update on the operations of Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja. Enenche said that between September 12 and September 17, the military arrested seven suspected oil thieves, discovered barrels of stolen crude oil and destroyed numbers of illegal refineries in the South- South and South West zones

According to him, within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team in the South- South located and immobilized an illegal refining site at Mudukiri Creek, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.

“The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. In the same vein, Forward Operating Base BONNY patrol team discovered and dismantled an illegal refining site in Ataba, Andoni LGA of Rivers.

“The team discovered eight metal storage tanks and four dugout pits laden with about 1,289.45 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil,” he said.

He said that Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE clearance operation team acting on credible intelligence on a suspected pirates and sea robber’s camp at Otoyo, Akwa-Ibom, raided the camp.

He said that the patrol team with superior power dislodged and deactivated the camp in the area.

“The team recovered one AK 47 rifle with two magazines, two Pump Action Rifles, 20 rounds of 7.62 and 39mm ammunition, one Fishing Gun, one TECNO phone, a bag of hard drugs, one diving face mask and one hand held metal detector.

“Between September 12-17, 2020 Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team around Utan Inyata Creek arrested two suspects and two small-sized wooden boats laden with 165 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled into the country”.