The Chief of Naval Staff, (CNS) Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin has said that a lot of oil companies are actively involved in the illegal business of stealing crude oil saying that soon, the Navy will start mentioning names of major stakeholders who are also involved in this illegalities.
Jibrin started this yesterday at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja during a meeting with Chief Executives of oil companies to deliberate on issues bordering on oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other related crimes in the nation’s maritime domain.
He said the issue of illegalities on Nigerian waterways has become worrisome to both government and the Navy that is government’s agent.
According to the Naval Chief ” It has gotten to a point that instead of pointing accusing fingers, we will mention names including the major stakeholders. We cannot pretend that the oil companies do no not have hands in some of this illegalities, pretending is to allow it to continue”
He said a lot of oil companies have left their wells opened deliberately over the years and have done nothing to close them up because of the technical nature of the manifolds.
He also said once manifolds are closed, only experts can open them noting that the wells are deliberately left opened by the oil companies in a bid to continue in this illegalities.
The CNS assured them that if any Navy personnel is caught encouraging or partaking in any of the theft, such person will be dealt with in accordance to the laws of the armed forces.
“Why have they been left the manifolds opened for years, Why are we denting the image of this country. It has come to a point that we would meet, discuss and provide solution to issues pertaining to oil theft.
“On my part If any if my personnel is involved , the person will be dealt adequately in accordance to the existing law of the armed forces.
“I have decided that I will take some steps that if the manifolds are left open for years and our attention is drawn to the need for it to be closed, the oil company who owns the manifolds left without taken appropriate actions, we will look for them and starts arresting them” he also said.
He noted that apart from loosing crude oil, the consequence of loosing revenue accrue to government and the environment is being polluted are also part of the collateral damage of this menace.
The Naval Chief urged the oil companies to work together assiduously and in safety with the Navy to get the desired result of curbing oil theft in the Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the oil companies, Mr Ayobami Olubiyi assured the Navy Chief that a lot of steps have been taken and they will do their best to ensure that this unfortunate situation is brought to an end.