The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has expressed concern over alleged massive oil theft in the country under the watch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement, Saturday claimed the act has become an organized racket under the APC administration.
He said 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.”
The caucus lamented 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 Guinean Navy.
It pointed out that this act has a consequential crippling effect on the overall national economy and social wellbeing.
The statement partly read, “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 products and services sectors, massive unemployment; the 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, demands 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.
“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?”
The caucus commended the officers of the Nigerian Navy for their collaboration with their Equatorial Guinea counterpart to effect the arrest of the criminal vessel.
They also urged officers to assist in ensuring that those behind the crime against the nation are all brought to book.
They charged President Muhammadu Buhari to, in the interest of the nation, rise to the occasion and take urgent steps to halt the hemorrhaging of the national economy through crude oil theft.