Senate begins oil theft probe in Niger Delta

The Senate Adhoc Committee on Oil Theft said it had bugun investigations into oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.

Chairman of the Committee, Bassey Akpan, said this while answering questions from journalists on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport.

Akpan said massive stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil, which had seen the country lose huge earnings as well as hobbled its ability to meet the quota allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was worrisome.

He said, “Our intention is to visit every oil terminal located in the Niger Delta region to see things for ourselves, the reason for oil theft, the reason for oil losses.

“We at the National Assembly believe that the local refining capacity as a result of all the bunkering issues can never be guaranteed or be sustained or be ensured by the losses.

“We believe that there are other areas where the country loses this huge revenue and resources. So it’s a serious job we are out here to do.”

Akpan, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Upstream and Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly, further said that the committee would submit its report to the National Assembly and make appropriate recommendations.

The committee will visit some oil-producing facilities in Port Harcourt and offshore as part of its fact-finding mission.

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