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Economic Sabotage: PENGASSAN accuses security agents,  communities of oil theft

Drums of Stolen Crude at an Illegal Oil Refining Site in the Niger Delta

*Festus Osifo, President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, alleges the oil thieves have international collaborators, says ‘it is a big business going on’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), among other groups, has also accused security agents, host communities and some international collaborators of connivance to steal the West African country’s oil wealth.

Festus Osifo, President of PENGASSAN, preferred this allegation against the said entities while featuring on a Channels TV programme Saturday, September 10, 2022, monitored in Lagos.

Osifo said: “There is total collusion going on in the Niger Delta.

EFCC hands over recovered stolen oil barges to Nigerian Naval personnel 

“That collusion cuts across all stakeholders in the industry cuts across all strata of Nigerians.

“It includes the security agencies sent to that particular area to man those pipelines; it includes people from the host communities; it includes people that are not from the host communities.”

The President of PENGASSAN stated: “They have international collaborators; they have some people who are even working in the oil and gas industry or may have retired. So, it is a big business going on.”

It is recalled that the oil and gas industry workers’ Association last Thursday staged a nationwide protest.

They also threatened to shut down oil production in Nigeria for 30 days, if the Federal Government fails to stop oil theft and vandalism, especially in the oil-bearing states.

Osifo asked: “Why do we keep producing and at the end of the day we have some miscreants out there stealing?”

According to the President, the Association’s members had engaged the government, security agencies, host communities, and stakeholders to put an end to the menace of oil theft.

However, Osifo said the discussions were yet to yield any results; hence the protest held Thursday. “We have engaged government in the last year.

“We have engaged the regulators and the stakeholders to the operators and the security agencies.

“We have engaged them on how to curb this menace of oil theft because for us, our members cannot continue to labour in vain and for us, on a daily basis, we go into the creeks, we go into the oil production facilities in different parts of the country,” stated he.

Osifo noted: “We cannot keep producing oil and pumping them into pipelines and at the end of the day, majority of the oil is stolen.”

Measures against oil theft

As regards the way forward in halting the menace of oil theft, Osifo said, “We are ready to partner with government, we are ready to provide the needed information, that we have been doing and we are already doing.

“There is a lot of research all over the world. Mexico was facing this kind of issue at a time but today Mexico has been able to put that behind them.

“In Saudi Aramco, if you see the entire control of Saudi Aramco, it spans several hectares because they use that control system to monitor what happens across the field locations and the installations.”

The President stated that the government must quickly meet with the host communities for efficient dialogue.

Security agents, who compromise, must face court martial and be jailed if found guilty, he recommended.

Besides, Osifo said the government must also invest in technology like drones to monitor oil pipelines in Nigeria.

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