Uduaghan, at UN, says persisting oil theft, threat to international peace
The persistence of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region where over
400,000 barrels per day are stolen may threaten world peace and democracy
if concerted action is not taken to curb it, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan,
governor of Delta State, has said.
Speaking at an African Business Roundtable-organized workshop on combating
emerging threats held on the sidelines of the on-going United Nations
General Assembly in New York, Uduaghan said with 90 percent of the stolen
oil exported, the cash return is enough to empower individuals and
organizations engaged in the theft to destabilize democracies in the West
The Delta State governor who is also the chairman of the Committee on
Crude Oil Theft set up by the Federal Government said the growing
insurgency by extremist islamist groups and violence on the civil
population may not be unconnected with the huge cash outlay that cannot be
traced due to crude oil theft.
He called on the international community to create a platform where stolen
crude oil can be tracked and disbursement of proceeds adequately monitored
as such funds usually fuel the acquisition of small arms.
He said the balance 10 percent of 400,000 barrels stolen daily is
processed locally at the modular refineries spread across the Niger Delta
region, noting that the pockets of persons arrested from those locations
have only token effect in combating the scourge. Extant laws and
legislations for prosecuting suspects, Uduaghan said, are grossly
inadequate, noting that a strong legal framework needs to be created so
that kingpins and promoters of crude oil theft can be prosecuted.
He said his committee has embarked on the sensitization of security
agencies on the need for them to be alive to their responsibilities while
also encouraging international oil companies (IOCs) to carry out corporate
social responsibilities in their areas of operation. The governor said
IOCs must improve on the technology deployed in the laying of pipelines as
the prevailing style of laying them on the surface is no longer
As part of his government's strategy to curb oil theft in Delta State,
Uduaghan said communities are being empowered through the programmes put
in place by the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission
The governor was accompanied on the trip by the Commissioner for
Information, Mr. Chike C. Ogeah and his finance counterpart, Mr. Ken
Other officials on Uduaghan's entourage are the commissioners for health,
Dr. Joseph Otumara; water resources, Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen; higher
education, Professor Hope Eghagha and environment, Chief Frank Omare.
Others are the commissioner for agriculture, Mr. Misan Ukubeyinje;
commissioner for MDGs, Queen Mother Victoria Ikenchuku; commissioner for
Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr.
Timi Tonye; the governor's senior special adviser on foreign relations who
coordinated the UN assessment project, Mr. Oma Djeba; chairman of
DESPADEC, Mr. Oritsuwa Kpogho and the members of the Nigerian Business
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