FG Continues Oil Theft Investigation, Starts Prosecution of Offenders

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According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the Federal Government has intensified its investigation into the enormous crude oil theft in the Niger Delta because anybody found culpable would face punishment.

According to the report, the oil business collaborates with security organizations and the private company hired to monitor pipelines in the oil-rich region.

To stop the huge oil theft in the Niger Delta, it was claimed in August that the Federal Government had given a company owned by Government Ekpemupolo, known as Tompolo, a pipeline surveillance contract for N48 billion annually.

Within two months after the contract was awarded, Ekpemupolo announced the discovery of at least 58 illegal points in Delta and Bayelsa states where crude oil was being stolen.

The former leader of the militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, told journalists recently in Delta State that a 4km illegal oil pipeline was discovered in the Forcados area of the state.

“I think we have found over 58 points that have been tapped in both Delta and Bayelsa states. We are doing this work together with the security agencies. We are only providing intelligence for the security people to assist to do the work,” he reportedly stated.

When told about the discoveries by Tompolo and asked if the Federal Government would probe the theft and punish those responsible, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC Limited, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said culprits would be prosecuted.

“Since it is a breach against the law, whether on pipelines or not, the law will certainly take its course. But it is not NNPC that will handle that aspect,” he stated.

Muhammad added, “It is the law itself, the GCEO (Group Chief Executive Officer) said it on site when he visited the areas. He said when these people are found the law will take its course.”

On whether the oil firm had instituted a probe into the menace, the GGM replied, “Since the GCEO has spoken about it, you don’t need anybody to say anything else about it. You can use that as the final statement from the NNPC.”

Muhammed was referring to the statement of the NNPC GCEO, Mele Kyari, at a recent meeting in Abuja, where he (Kyari) said the oil firm had embarked on a series of interventions to tackle the crime.

NNPC, PTI to deploy anti-theft systems on pipelines

Kyari had said, “I’m happy to say that the interventions that we have seen in terms of the security measures we have taken, in collaboration with the government security agencies, with the private surveillance and security contractors, and the investments that we have done, we believe that in the next couple of days we will be able to bring back the Trans Niger Pipeline.”

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