ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has assured the State’s collaboration that his administration will tackle oil theft, saying that it poses a serious threat to the Niger Delta region.
The Governor stated this in Government House, Yenagoa, when he received a Federal Government delegation, led by Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Governor Diri regretted that the menace had negatively affected the environment and image of the oil-rich area.
He canvassed urgent actions against the economic crime in the interest of the region and the nation at large.
Diri lamented that oil theft, which also affects government at all levels, has denied the locals their means of livelihood, stressing that if it is not stopped or reduced drastically, the implications would be grave.
Recalling how the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, had talks with governors on the same issue, the Governor welcomed collaborative efforts between the states and the Federal Government to tackle the menace.
He promised the team that his administration would ensure that the problem is effectively tackled.
Diri said: “The Federal and state governments largely depend on oil. So, oil theft does not affect only the Federal Government. It affects us as a state government and the local governments. We have spoken about this over and over, and we will continue to say it.
“We are talking about our environment that has been brazenly polluted through oil bunkering activities. If you go to our communities, you will see oil floating on our rivers, and that has led to the locals not having a means of livelihood. It has led to unknown diseases and sicknesses.
“There is a spiral effect of oil theft that is going on in the Niger Delta, and it affects the communities and the people. So, I welcome you and I assure you that we will collaborate to ensure that oil theft is brought to an end.”
In his remarks, Sylva said the delegation was in the state to seek partnership to end oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He noted that theft of the black gold was occuring at an alarming rate, and should no longer be allowed, given its negative effect on Nigeria’s economy.