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Oil theft posing serious threat to Niger Delta – Diri



Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the menace of oil theft poses a serious threat to the Niger Delta region.

Governor Diri, who assured the state’s collaboration to tackle oil theft, called for urgent actions to end the ugly trend in the interest of the region and the country at large.

Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, on Monday, when he received a federal government delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Governor Diri remarked that oil theft has seriously affected the environment and image of the region negatively.

Governor 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 had talks with governors on the same issue, Diri welcomed collaborative efforts between the states and the federal government to tackle the menace.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the federal government delegation was in the state to seek collaboration to end oil theft in the Niger Delta.

He said the stealing of oil was going on at an alarming rate and should no longer be allowed given its negative effect on the economy of the country.

Sylva lamented that production has been badly affected, which is also having a negative impact on foreign investments in the country.

According to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the military has heightened operational engagements to stop criminal activities in the region.

He noted that the activities of oil thieves were bleeding the nation and called on those involved in the act of sabotage to have a rethink, failing which the military will clamp down on them.

Aslo, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, said the country was facing a dire situation that is not just affecting the economy but also the environment.

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