The House of Representatives ad hoc committee set up to investigate crude oil theft and loss of revenue from gas has vowed to unveil identities of those behind oil theft in the country. Rep. Kabiru Rurum, chairman of the committee said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of its investigative hearing slated for Sept. 7. He said the oil sector remained the major source of revenue for the country, adding that it was determined that the investigation would not be like the previous ones. According to him, oil and gas are the major areas where the country gets its resources but the problem of oil theft has continued to go from bad to worse on a daily basis.
“The purpose of the committee is to reveal who and who are the architect of what is going on in the area of crude oil theft.” He said apportioning blame to security agencies would not suffice, adding that stakeholders in the oil sectors should be held responsible including Chevron, Shell, communities among others “We need to identify the culprits, this is the purpose of the investigation, everybody including critical stakeholders should come and tell us their side of the story. He said the modalities and ways to stop or minimise theft in the oil sector should be suggested by all stakeholders which was the main purpose of the committee. He said the committee had invited the Nigerian Navy as the custodian of the nation’s water, Airforce, Civil Defence, Police Intelligence Agency among others.
According to him, the challenges confronting the oil sector and the probable solution will be discussed He said the Norwagean Embassy which had earlier promised Nigeria to assist in three areas to curtail oil theft had been invited to proffer solution. He said its recommendation would be firm because the government knew that there were serious challenges in the sector, adding that it would work in synergy with the National Security Adviser. it would be recalled that Rep. Philip Agbese had earlier moved a motion on the need to investigate crude oil theft and loss of revenue accrued from the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. The house, however, constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the issues and ensured that everyone complicit in the theft was brought to book.