We’re working to end crude oil theft in Nigeria- Uzodimma

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By Naomi Sharang

Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo and the Chairman, crude oil theft and management committee, says his committee is working to end crude oil theft in the country, within the shortest possible time.

Uzodimma stated this when he briefed newsmen, shortly after a stakeholders meeting that lasted for more than six hours in Abuja.

He said that the committee plans to submit its interim report to the National Economic Council (NEC) before the end of April.

Uzodimma assured that the committee, which is a sub-committee of the NEC, would at the next economic council meeting, give an interim report of what the outcome of their assignment was.

“The NEC meeting usually holds the last week of the month.

“So, it may be the last week of this month, if all goes well and there is a national economic council meeting, we will submit an interim report to the council and that report will also carry the interim findings and recommendations.

“We have the mandate to eliminate completely, cases of crude oil theft, increase production of oil and gas and boost revenue earning for the government.

“We have done a lot. We have interfaced with critical stakeholders in the industry. Some revelations have been made, some findings have also been done,” he said.

Uzodimma added: “We have also been able to collect sufficient data; many have been processed and some are still being processed.

“I assure you at the next economic council, we should be able to give an interim report of what the outcome of our assignment is.

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“After the interim report, and if our recommendations have been approved, we will continue with more activities in terms of implementing the recommendations presented in the interim report.

“So far, what we have seen is very encouraging and we are almost certain that at the end of the assignment, crude oil theft will become a thing of the past and there will be more discipline in the industry and operators in the industry will also play according to rules.”

On the high cost of gas, he said that the whole essence of the committee’s assignment was to optimise production of oil and gas.

“And with the increase in the price of gas, Nigeria being one of the major countries that can boast of gas reserves, sufficient gas reserves, we will benefit from it.

“Crude oil too when optimised in terms of production, will also earn us more revenue. We discussed all that and what we are trying to do now is to improve on the level of sincerity, honesty in the industry.

“And encourage stakeholders to play to the rules and have the interest of our country at heart to allow for a win, win situation where the oil companies that are producing will make profit, Nigeria that is also their partner will also make profit,” he said.

He also assured that the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu would begin to yield results in the near future.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the stakeholders meeting included Mr Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Malam Abubakar Bagudu, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Yemi Cardoso. (NAN)

Edited Ali Baba-Inuwa

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