New Telegraph

Oil theft: Minority Reps seek inquest into MV Heroic Idun, others

The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has said it was alarmed by the massive oil theft in the country.


A statement by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, lamented that the crude oil theft, “has become an organised racket under the corrupt, reckless and extremely decadent All Progressives Congress (APC) administration”.


According to Elumelu: “The minority caucus is disturbed by reports of alleged complicity by certain corrupt government officials as evinced in the clandestine entrance and berthing of a 3-million-barrel capacity super tanker, MV. Heroic Idun, in Nigerian waters to criminally load millions of barrels of stolen crude oil from our country.


“Such reported complicity is also evidenced in the failure of the Nigerian authorities to effectively intercept and arrest the criminal tanker and its crew, which successfully left the Nigerian waters only to be apprehended by the Equatorial Guinea Navy”


He said: “This shocking development underscores the massive sleaze in our nation’s oil and gas sector under the APC administration, with consequential crippling effect on our overall national economy and social wellbeing.


“It is indeed disturbing that under the APC administration, according to official reports, oil thieves are having a field day stealing up to 400,000 barrels of crude oil every day. This amounts to a daily siphoning of about $40m (given the current average global oil price of around $100 a barrel) accrued revenue meant for the wellbeing of Nigerians.


“Our caucus is saddened because such enabled sleaze is responsible for the crippling of our production and services sectors, massive unemployment; collapse of our critical sectors, including education, health and power; unbearable infrastructural stagnation and escalated insecurity with attendant excruciating hardship on our citizens.


“The minority caucus, standing with Nigerians, demand for an immediate, independent and open investigation into the issue of oil theft in the country with particular reference to the circumstances that facilitated the reported illegal operation by MV Heroic Idun as well as its escape from our waters”


The statement further queried: “Who granted the vessel entrance into the Nigerians water? Who granted it facilities to illegally berth and pump stolen crude oil? What circumstances facilitated its escape from the Nigerian waters? Who is the vessel working for and who are those behind the illegal operation?”


Elumelu, however, said: “The minority caucus commends the patriotic officers of the Nigerian Navy for their collaboration with Equatorial Guinea Navy to effect the arrest of the criminal vessel and urges such officers to assist in ensuring that those behind this repulsive crime against our nation are all brought to book.


“Our caucus also urges President Muhammadu Buhari to, in the interest of suffering Nigerians, rise to the occasion and take urgent step to halt the hemorrhaging of our national economy through crude oil theft”.


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