Asaba—Chairman of the Federal Government’s Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses, Major-General Barry Ndiomu (Rtd) has assured that his panel is committed to investigating and identifying perpetrators of the act, as well as proffer lasting solutions.
Ndiomu, who is also the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), gave the assurance on Monday when he led members of the panel on a strategic courtesy visit to the Delta State Government.
He disclosed that members of the panel had began visiting sites, oil platforms, and engaging key stakeholders that would provide useful information to aid their task.
The Amnesty boss while soliciting for support, also assured that the recommendations of the panel would not go the way of other committees and panels set up by previous governments.
Ndiomu noted that there have been remarkable improvements in crude oil production in the country; attributing it to the recent engagement by the Federal Government of Tantita Security Sevices Limited.
According to him, the security firm owned by an ex-agitator High Chief Government Ekpemukolo, a.k.a Tompolo, has been able to track oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
In his response, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa called on all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to work together to curb crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, commended the Federal Government for setting up the panel and admitted that the nation was losing billions of naira due to oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
He noted that the losses incurred by the nation due to oil theft and pipeline vandalism was alarming and is grossly affecting the country’s mono-economy which is highly dependent on proceeds from crude oil.
Okowa recalled that several committees and panels have been set up in the past by successive governments without any positive outcome.
He therefore expressed hope that the Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses would not go the same way, as its recommendations if implemented, would help unravel the effects, causes and proffer lasting solutions to the menace.
Senator Okowa promised to furnish the panel with relevant information that would assist in carrying out its assignment, adding that his administration had taken deliberate steps by providing structures to help curb the phenomenon of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft .
He listed the Delta State Waterways and Land Security, the Delta State Committee Against Oil Assets Destruction, among others aimed at deepening engagements with stakeholders in the sectors to prevent oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
The Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses was inaugurated in December last year by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd).