Niger Delta Coalition Urges Collaborative Action with EFCC to Combat Oil Theft

The Niger Delta Coalition, represented by its Board of Trustees led by Joseph Ambakederimo, has on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 called for collaborative efforts with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to address the rampant issue of oil theft in the region. This plea was made during a courtesy visit to the EFCC’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, at the Commission’s corporate headquarters.

Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo (R), seeks collaboration with EFCC, represented by Mr. Mohammad Hammajoda to curb oil theft in the Niger Delta

During the meeting, the EFCC expressed appreciation for the coalition’s initiative and pledged to collaborate with relevant agencies and stakeholders to tackle the menace of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. Mr. Mohammad Hammajoda, speaking on behalf of the EFCC Chairman, highlighted the detrimental effects of oil theft on the nation’s economy and environment. He emphasized the Commission’s commitment to combatting oil theft, which remains a priority across its zonal commands, particularly in the Niger Delta region.

“We highly appreciate your presence. This is an important engagement towards finding a solution to the scourge of oil theft and vandalization of oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. Apart from the fact that oil theft has made it difficult over the years for us as a country to meet our OPEC production quota, and by extension diminish the revenue we ought to make from crude oil sales for national development, the menace often comes with the evil of pipeline vandalism, which in several cases leaves a huge toll of environmental pollution, manifesting in the destruction of marine economy, farmlands and everything in the ecosystem, including human lives”, Hammajoda said.

He further stated that “arresting the tide of oil theft is at the core of what we do in the Commission in nearly all the zonal commands in the southern part of the country, particularly in the Niger Delta.”

In his address, Mr. Ambakederimo commended the EFCC for its efforts in combating corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria. He stressed the urgent need to address the ongoing oil theft, which has led to significant disruptions in economic forecasts and negatively impacted the country’s revenue generation. Ambakederimo highlighted the lack of sustained action and coordination among government agencies in addressing the issue, calling for a strategic plan of action and inter-agency collaboration.

Mr. Ambakederimo explains a point to the EFCC

The CDC proposed several recommendations to address the scourge of oil theft, including declaring a state of emergency on oil theft, holding security officials accountable for breaches in their areas of operation, and treating oil theft as economic sabotage and terrorism. The coalition also advocated for robust engagement between federal, state, and local governments, as well as relevant agencies, to develop a strategic national plan on oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The Niger Delta Coalition expressed readiness to collaborate with the EFCC in formulating a comprehensive framework and plan of action to combat oil theft effectively. The coalition looks forward to further engagements with the EFCC and other stakeholders to address this critical issue for the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a whole.

“At this point, the CDC is proposing to the EFCC to quickly organise a national conference on the consequences of continued oil theft to the Nigerian Economy in collaboration with the CDC and all relevant stakeholders. Finally, Mr. Chairman, we look forward to more strategic engagements with you after this courtesy visit to jointly formulate a framework and a plan of action”, Ambakederimo further said.

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