Posted by News Express | 20 May 2016 | 2,168 times
The National Economic Council (NEC) has called for the establishment of special courts to prosecute all those caught in oil theft in the country as a way to get rid of the menace.
The recommendation formed part of a committee’s report presented to the council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Professor Osinbajo chaired the council, which has all state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Minister of Budget and National Planning among others as members.
The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, John Jonah; Enugu State Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting on Thursday.
The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor said he reported to the council that the committee, set up in 2013, consulted widely with relevant stakeholders including the armed forces, the Joint Task Force, oil companies, oil producing states and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps among others in preparing the report.
According to him, the Committee identified causes of oil theft to include inadequate operational patrol vessels to conduct patrol of entire pipeline network; massive unemployment among youths; and non-availability of petroleum products in the Niger Delta.
He said government was also asked to focus on restoring upstream production by positively engaging host communities to put the current militancy to an end and focus on improving government funding in the upstream sector where funding has been less than 30%.
•Sourced from a Channels TV report. Photo shows Vice-President Osinbajo.
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