Home Oil and Gas FG burns seized vessels conveying stolen crude oil

FG burns seized vessels conveying stolen crude oil

by Business News Report

Federal Government of Nigeria now burns vessel caught stealing the nation’s crude oil. But Environment Rights Action/Friends of the Earth of Nigeria ERA/FoEN) has described as crude and unacceptable the current practice, by the nation’s security forces, of burning seized vessels conveying stolen crude oil and illegally refined petroleum products in the creeks and waterways of the already fragile Niger Delta environment saying it would further compound the region woes. Comrade Alagoa Morris, the Programme Manager/Head, Niger Delta Resource Centre, ERA, Bayelsa Office said the trending practice shows that the Federal Government has no regard for the wellbeing of the environment and people of the Niger Delta.

He said though the government may have resorted to burning as a way of discouraging perpetrators, the hazard associated with the burning has made it imperative for the authorities to put an end to the practice in the region where the lifespan of the locals is known to have been impacted negatively by incessant crude oil spills and constant gas flaring.  

His said “it is common knowledge that security operatives, the Civil Defence and military (including surveillance contractors) have been associated with the destruction of vessels (big or small marine boats) and trucks (including small cars) reasonably suspected to be conveying locally refined crude oil products or stolen crude oil. This has roundly been condemned by stakeholders, especially the environmental community. Some are of the opinion that the Federal Government needs to look at the issue of how to handle stolen crude oil more holistically, including locally refined products when available instead of setting them ablaze. It is reasonable to think that actually the Federal Government has not given this matter any serious attention, considering the negative consequences and further degradation of the Niger Delta environment. The trend of destruction of vessels and trucks by security agencies/surveillance contractors leave much to be desired. This add to the further degradation of the Niger Delta and cannot be disassociated from oil industry induced pollution contributing to lowered life expectancy in the region; compared to other regions of the country. The Niger Delta shouldn’t be where anything goes, killing fields.

“This act of burning is worse than gas flaring which the environmental community has campaigned against over the years. And as a way of deterrent, it is not curbing oil theft. There are better options like confiscating the vessel and take the crude oil to designated depots in different states and locations where they are eventually returned to useful purpose in the collective interest. Vessels and trucks so confiscated could be auctioned after going through due process and revenue from such ploughed back into the treasury. Not only that, culprits should be identified through thorough investigation and prosecuted in courts of competent jurisdiction…for economic crime. “This act of burning is not only condemned; the Federal Government should stop it. Besides the huge environmental reasons behind this condemnation; it speaks negatively about Nigeria in the international community…as a people who are still crude and needs to be refined.”

Related Posts