Oil Theft: PENGASSAN accuses security agents, host communities of collusion

Posted by News Express | 10 September 2022 | 255 times

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•PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo

 

The President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Festus Osifo, has accused security agents, host communities and some international collaborators of colluding to steal the country’s oil.

“There is total collusion going on in the Niger Delta. That collusion cuts across all stakeholders in the industry cuts across all strata of Nigerians.

“It includes the security agencies sent to that particular area to man those pipelines, it includes people from the host communities, it includes people that are not from the host communities, they have international collaborators, they have some people who are even working in the oil and gas industry or may have retired. So, it is a big business going on,” Osifo said Saturday on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme.

PENGASSAN had on Thursday staged a nationwide protest and threatened to shut down oil production in Nigeria for 30 days if the Federal Government fails to stop oil theft and vandalism.

“Why do we keep producing and at the end of the day we have some miscreants out there stealing?” the PENGASSAN president queried.

Osifo said his members had engaged the government, security agencies, host communities, and stakeholders to put an end to the menace of oil theft but the discussions were yet to yield any results hence the protest held on Thursday.

He said, “We have engaged government in the last year. We have engaged the regulators and the stakeholders to the operators and the security agencies.

“We have engaged them on how to curb this menace of oil theft because for us, our members cannot continue to labour in vain and for us, on a daily basis, we go into the creeks, we go into the oil production facilities in different parts of the country.

“We cannot keep producing oil and pumping them into pipelines and at the end of the day, majority of the oil is stolen.”

‘Agitation In National Interest’

 Osifo said some oil companies cannot meet the salary obligations of staff because of oil theft.

“We have made various recommendations on what can be done for both the long term and the short run but they are foot-dragging to implement these things. For us, it is out of national interest,” he added.

Osifo noted that many PENGASSAN members are being threatened to resume production by vandals who want to steal the crude.

He also said that oil companies operating in the Niger Delta pay security agents to protect their installations in the oil-rich region but the government must end.

“The government must develop the will to stop the crimes,” he noted.

On the way forward, Osifo said, “We are ready to partner with government, we are ready to provide the needed information, that we have been doing and we are already doing.

“There is a lot of research all over the world. Mexico was facing this kind of issue at a time but today Mexico has been able to put that behind them. In Saudi Aramco, if you see the entire control of Saudi Aramco, it spans several hectares because they use that control system to monitor what happens across the field locations and the installations.”

He added that the government must quickly meet with the host communities for efficient dialogue, adding that security agents who compromise must face court martial and be jailed if found guilty.

Osifo said the government must also invest in technology like drones to monitor oil pipelines in the country. (Channels TV)


Source: News Express

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