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Niger Delta: Committee on Recovery of Illegal Oil refineries inaugurated

*security operatives, federal ministries, NNPC, DPR and NOSDRA make up committee

An Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle the illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country has been inaugurated.

Members of the committee were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, DHQ, the NSCDC, the NNPC. the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources, and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.

They are tasked with the major mandate of “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), who inaugurated the committee said the move was to block revenue leakages.

He was represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Umar Muhammed.

Mr. Muhammed said, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.

This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.

He added that the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.”

The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.

“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.

NNPC, NOSDRA pledge collaboration to stem oil spills

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) have expressed their willingness to work closer aimed at mitigating the incidences of oil spills across the country.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this known when he received the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, along with his management team at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Kyari stated that as a National Oil Company, the NNPC pipelines, flow stations and assets spread across the country were jointly owned by the Federation.

He maintained that the Corporation produces crude oil to maintain a balance sheet for the nation, noting that the NNPC had taken several steps to deploy technology to stem incidences of oil spill.

“We have taken a number of steps to stem oil spill by deploying technology in order to make sure that whenever there is an oil spill incidence, it is contained almost immediately. We contain the incidences of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and acts of saboteurs and we intend to bring it to the barest minimum,” Kyari said.

He noted that the NNPC operated both crude oil and petroleum products pipelines adding that the Corporation was collaborating with all its partners to curb incidences of oil spill in all areas of its operations.

The NNPC helmsman said the Corporation would also forge closer ties with NOSDRA to proactively forestall oil spill in areas that are prone to incessant incidences.

Earlier, the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Musa, said the Agency was prepared to partner the NNPC in mitigating oil spill in all areas of its oerations stressing that the partnership would ensure a good operating environment for the operators and the inhabitants.

He added that breaking of petroleum products pipelines did not provide food, water and good environment for the people rather the malaise bleeds the national purse of revenues that would have being used to provide developmental infrastructure for the various tiers of government.