The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said incidents of oil theft and its reported global support system now symbolise a new face of terrorism which has continued to remain a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s high economic growth.
Alison-Madueke, who made the statement last week in London when she delivered the keynote address at an event “The Power List 2014”, where she was listed as one of 25 Africans transforming the continent, added that the crime against Nigeria must be resisted at all levels.
A statement from the acting General Manager, Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ms. Tumini Green, in Abuja at the weekend, noted that the minister had in her presentation explained that the ugly incidents of oil theft had continued to thwart efforts at sustained economic growth because the effect reverberates across the entire spectrum of the Nigerian economy.
She said: “The grave phenomenon of oil theft and its global support system represents another face of terrorism counteracting our efforts at sustaining the trajectory of our high-growth economy, the stability of our society, and the enhancement and wellbeing of our people.”
According to her, efforts at combating the menace locally have been made more complicated by the international slant of the crime, adding, “Theft of this magnitude is not only highly technical, but is also a crime of international magnitude.”
“It is aided and abetted by syndicates outside of Africa who are the patrons and merchant-partners of the oil thieves. This crime against Nigeria must be resisted, as we simultaneously deploy in-country resources to fight this menace,” Alison-Madueke said.
While again calling on the global community to advocate strongly against crude oil theft, the minister stated: “It perpetuates criminality, defrauds economies and discourages investment. This is a crime that threatens not only Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, but also threatens the security of the Gulf of Guinea, and by extension threatens the global economic order.”
She, however, explained that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry had been placed on the path of growth and irreversible progress engendered by the transformation footprint of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, despite the scourge of crude theft.
“The Nigerian Content Act, signed into law in 2010 by President Jonathan, vigorously advocates for indigenous participation, job creation and in-country capacity development and has nurtured leading edge indigenous companies capable of competing with the traditional multinationals.
“The very topical Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is a historic piece of legislation designed to effect extensive and much needed legal, regulatory, financial and environmental reform for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry,” she said.