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Senate identifies crude oil theft as major cause of Nigeria’s economic downturn

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Olujimi, Faseyi vow to reclaim 'stolen' mandate

The Senate on Thursday identified crude oil theft as the major cause of the country’s economic downturn.

In a heated debate at the plenary, several senators agreed that the failure of the security agencies to protect oil assets was responsible for the dwindling economy in the country.

In his contribution, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), therefore, charged the security agencies to step up surveillance around the country’s oil assets.

Read also: Buhari woos Senate on money laundering, terrorism bills

He lamented that at a time different countries recording huge returns on investment due to increase in crude oil prices occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Nigeria was left out because of its ability to meet its Organisation of Exporting Countries (OPEC) quota.

Similarly, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, expressed worry over the increasing cases of oil theft despite huge resources allocated to security agencies.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, charged the Federal Government to take necessary steps to stop cases of oil theft in the country.

He said: “This crude oil theft is not something to play politics with, and I don’t think the answers are going to be easy to come by. Radical decisions would have been taken, but before we find an answer we have to live with this, but we have to be as fast as possible to look for answers.

“I had a session with the Chief of Defence Staff about a month ago, and our discussion with him was on the oil theft and the efforts of our security agencies to curb the menace.

“Our security agencies are doing their best but we have people- our people- who are sabotaging the oil industry, because the oil theft is not perpetrated by someday else but by people who are citizens.”

By Abdulkabeer Ambali

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