ABUJA – The House of Representatives yesterday in Abuja mandated its committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), (Downstream) and Justice to investigate alleged aiding and abetting of oil theft in the nation’s coastal waters.
The resolution to probe the allegation was sequel to the threat by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman Jibrin, on September 3, 2014, to expose some international oil companies allegedly aiding oil theft in the country.
Giving the directive on the investigation, Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, gave the committees 30 days to ascertain the veracity of the allegation.
Rep. Hassan Saleh (PDP-Benue) had in a motion at plenary, said that Jibrin made the allegation to express his dismay and frustration at the nonchalant attitude of some chief executive officers of international oil companies.
Saleh said that the issue of oil theft was one major economic challenge facing the country and adversely affecting the nation’s financial well-being.
“It leads to loss of several billions of dollars to those few unpatriotic elements who are illegally profiting from the nation’s collective wealth at the expense of other citizens.
“Jibrin is disturbed that the international oil companies are not giving the much desired cooperation to the Nigerian Navy.
“This is most disturbing as the Chief of Naval Staff has also accused some of the oil companies of creating an enabling environment that aids illegal oil bunkering,’’ he said.
Saleh expressed concern that for the naval chief to have aired his frustration in such a manner, “it calls for serious concern from all, particularly with the nature of information at his disposal.