Support military to end crude oil theft – Group tells Niger Delta leaders

A non- partisan advocacy, the Economic Sustenance Group (ESG) has urged leaders in the Niger-Delta and other oil producing communities to support the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the fight against crude oil thieves in the region.

The group said available scientific facts suggest that aside enormous economic loss to the country as a result of crude oil theft, their nefarious activities have also led to environmental challenges, such as the soot in Rivers state.

ESG in a press release signed by its President and Secretary Okoro Anselem and Baba Usman respectively, while commending the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor for his recent operational visit to troops of Joint Task Force South South Operation Delta Safe, hailed him for warning personnel against oil theft.

ESG said the visit will further strengthen the troops and send a message that the Armed Forces is determined to protect the oil and gas installations within the South South geopolitical zone with the best of their abilities.

The group also commended the present leadership of the Armed Forces immediately on assumption held a meeting with the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari to discuss the security challenges being encountered in the execution of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas pipeline project and other oil installations across the country.

“Leaders of the Niger-Delta region should as a matter of urgency intensify support and cooperation with the Armed Forces of Nigeria to deal with this nefarious activity that has caused the people serious health challenges.

“We can’t continue to neglect the soot problem in Port-Harcourt and environs. The health implications cannot be overemphasized.

“The recent visit to the region by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. LEO Irabor is a pointer that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is determined to decisively deal with the situation.

“Similarly, the country is losing revenue that would have been channelled into economic development.

“Now is the time for us to come together, restore and preserve the Environment for the health of our brothers and sisters in oil producing communities,” the statement read.

(Blueprint)

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