JTF ACCUSES NNPC, OIL FIRMS OF AIDING ILLEGAL OIL BUNKERING
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other oil companies are frustrating the fight against oil theft in the Niger Delta, the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) has said yesterday.
The Commander of the JTF Operation Pulo Shield and Commander, 2 Brigade Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, who said this while interacting with journalists on the achievements of the JTF, alleged that about 56 oil bunkering sites recently discovered belong to some oil companies which the NNPC is a shareholder.
Buratai said, 'I want to say that the major stakeholders in the oil industry are not quite sincere in the approach toward fighting oil theft in the Niger Delta. You have had our achievement which is just within one month. If you go back to our previous achievements, it triples this present one.
'Oil theft is a major issue. It is an issue of national concern. If all the oil companies and indeed the NNPC will cooperate and work together, I want to assure you that we are going to completely stamp out oil theft in the Niger Delta,' he said.
'We had an assessment times back on all the pipelines. We discovered over 56 of those illegal bunkering sites and they belong to an oil company and the NNPC is a major shareholder in that oil company. Unfortunately as I talk to you, I have not been told that even one has picked. So where will you get the solution to oil bunkering?'
Responding to allegation from some quarters that the Army also connive with oil thieves to siphon crude oil, the JTF commander, said that his men cannot be involved is such act pointing out that the Chief of Army Staff and that men of JTF are all committed in the fight against oil theft.
'If you talk of the connivance of the Army, I will tell you that we are not involved in oil theft,' he said.