Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), stated that the Federal Government is committed to eliminating pipeline vandalism in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Lokpobiri made this pledge on Saturday, after inspecting an illegal facility in Delta State.
The Minister said, “We are here because of the problem of pipeline vandalisation. I believe it has become an existential problem and we need to fight them; we need to fight these criminals to submission.
“What is happening here is so bad that we may not even know the implication — unless maybe when people start dying in their numbers; that’s when people will know that a few persons were profiting from this crime [and we] are here to wipe all of them out.
“So, as a responsible government, we decided that we are going to put a stop to it. We’re going to work with stakeholders to ensure that we stop all this nonsense.”
Earlier in the week, troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed an illegal refinery site in the general area of Ogbokoko and Atu in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The development came after the military’s anti-oil theft operations in the South-South on August 23, 2023.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the director of army public relations, said in a statement on Thursday that during the operations, the troops destroyed eight operational ovens used to illegally refine stolen crude oil, 14 storage reservoirs holding an estimated 200,000 litres of stolen crude oil, and 90,000 litres of locally refined automotive petrol oil.
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