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Reps set up committee to fight crude oil theft



A special committee on oil theft was established by the House of Representatives on Wednesday in an effort to combat one of the risks to the country’s economy.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, stated during a ceremony in Abuja that theft, vandalism, and other criminal activity were responsible for the estimated 300,000 barrels of crude oil lost daily in the nation.

The lawmakers claimed that the development has had a significant negative impact on the country, including lost revenue, environmental disasters, risks to regional peace and security, the proliferation of weapons, and an unfavourable investment climate.

According to the speaker, the nation is incurring losses of oil revenues estimated at N1.29 trillion annually due to industrial-scale theft.

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He explained that the committee’s primary objective was to determine the proximate and remote causes of oil theft and recommend remedial measures to the parliament.

Abbas said, “We set up this special committee to underscore our unwavering commitment to protect the nation’s resources for the good of all our citizens and to punish the perpetrators of these dreadful crimes.

“I charge you, therefore, to investigate all dimensions of oil theft, focusing on the actions of all actors, including criminal gangs, militia groups, the local populace, company employees and security agencies.

“I urge the committee members to approach your mandate with diligence, objectivity, a sense of urgency, and patriotism.

“The findings and recommendations from your work will also serve as a foundation for sustainable solutions rather than ad hoc measures.

“I also expect your efforts to contribute significantly to enhancing the integrity of our oil sector and promoting sustainable development.

“I call upon all stakeholders, including government agencies, industry players, security agencies, civil society organisations, and the general public, to extend their full cooperation to this special committee for it to deliver on its mandate,” he said.

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