… Hails NNPC’s Interception Of Stolen Crude
The Chairman, Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo, has commended the efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd in tackling crude oil heists.
Dakolo however wants the authorities to hunt down and prosecute the bigwigs in the oil theft industry.
In an interview on Arise Tv on Wednesday, the Niger Delta chief solicited for the rehabilitation of some of the arrested in the vessels as he described them as “victims of the real oil thievery.”
Activities of crude oil thieves had months ago eroded the foreign exchange proceeds derived from oil exports.
The country was unable to meet its 1.83m barrels OPEC quota.
Nigeria was losing around 470,000 barrels of crude estimated at $700m at the peak of the activities of oil thieves in 2022.
The Nigerian Extractive International Transparency Initiative said in an April report that the country lost 619.7 million barrels of crude valued at N25trn between 2009 and 2020.
But with the collaboration of security agencies and pipeline contractors like Tantita Security Services, the NNPC has been able to nab a handful of major oil thieves.
Dakolo said, “The vessel was burnt because it was cheaper to burn than to reign in the oil thief that is behind it all. Usually, what Nigeria has done in the last several decades is to parade young helpless improperly educated, and jobless youth from the Niger Delta as the typical thieves.
“Such a person shouldn’t be called a thief; he should be rehabilitated. He belongs to a place where you have to educate him, rehabilitate him and make him a patriotic Nigerian. He is a victim of oil thieves.
“The real thief of oil is someone who has a yacht, someone who has a golf court, is someone who cannot sleep at night in the Niger Delta because of mosquitoes and insecurity. He is someone who has properties in London, Bana Island, Abuja, Frankfurt, and New York City. Those are the thieves. They have a lot of money.”
The most recent is the interception of a Vessel with a Cargo of Crude oil on board on July 7, 2023.
The Vessel, MT TURA II (IMO number: 6620462), is owned by a Nigerian Registered Company, HOLAB MARITIME SERVICES LIMITED with Registration Number RC813311.
When it was intercepted, the cargo was heading to Cameroun with the Cargo on board. It had 800,000 barrels of crude oil stolen from Nigeria.
The traditional ruler said, “This particular oil, if you had allowed it, would go to either Britain or America, China or India. They go to these places. These vessels are big enough and the world knows them.
“Those are the real oil thieves. The subsidy thieves. Those who have been milking the system for several decades. They brought one shipload in and collected money for ten ships. Those who brought in no shipload, perfected papers and collected money for 20 shiploads.
“The oil thieves are big men, international companies, governments of foreign countries are involved and many more are involved. “