Northern forum describes oil bunkering as organised crime against Nigeria

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The Northern People’s Forum has described oil bunkering as an organised crime against Nigerians which needed to be checked.

The Chairman of the forum, Mr Saidu Bello, made this known while  addressing newsmen during a protest by the group on Monday in Abuja.

He urged the Federal Government to sustain the engagement of Messrs Tantita Security Limited for the pipeline surveillance.

He  said they were at the Headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to protest the recent arrest of four of the  personnel of the Tantita Security group by the Nigerian Navy.

He said though the guards had been released, it would be counter productive to arrest personnel of a group working with security agencies deployed to protect the nation’s oil pipe lines against illegal activities, oil assets, including illegal refineries and insertions on oil pipelines.

He called on President Bola Tinubu to sustain the engagement of Tantita Security agency by the NNPCL to continue to work with Nigeria security agencies towards protecting the nation’s wealth from being siphoned by few cartel working against the economic interest of the country.

He said that the engagement of Tantita Security had yielded positive results as illegal oil vessels and their operators had been arrested and handed over to police for prosecution.

He said that the NNPCL has also increase the number of her daily quota of barrels of crude oil being produced per day to meet benchmark approved  by the OPEC.

“In the past Tantita has been a surveillance group that has been given the contract to supervise the pipeline of this country.

“They have been doing a good job, and I could even recall that several crude oil vessels has been arrested by Tantita and it was even appreciated by the government and NNPCL that contracted it.

“They have been working to see that our pipelines are protected to reach the quota given to Nigeria to stabilize and move our economy forward in terms of economic development.

“Oil sector is one of the very important sectors which has been bedeviled by bunkering and other forces coming within the domestic and international level.

“So, it has become a cartel this country that bunkering is just been seen as illegitimate practice which we feel is a crime against the Nigerian humanity,” he said.

He said that before now Nigeria was loosing over 700,000 barrels of crude oil every day, a situation that could not allow the country to meet its allotted daily OPEC quota.

He said that such further triggered volatility in the nation’s fiscal and monetary sectors affecting our foreign reserve base and triggered declining spate of the Naira.

He said that with the coming on board of Tantita Security group Nigeria is now able to meet the quota allotted to it by OPEC, producing about 1.4 million barrels of crude oil per day.

“We demand for a new security template to include but not limited to pushing the Nigerian Navy in the oil rivers back to its primordial role in protecting interference in the nation’s marine blue line.

“To effect arrest of  illegal activities across the blue line that may emanate from inbound marine activities so as to allow other security agencies assigned to police the Nigeria water ways do their jobs,” Bello said.

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