Prof. Ben Naanen reveals why fight against oil theft is not yielding result in Niger Delta
A report by Professor of Economic History at the University of Port Harcourt, Ben Naanen, has said measures adopted by the Federal Government and oil companies in the fight against oil theft in Nigeria are not yielding results because of inadequate capacity and compromise by agencies entrusted with the responsibility, coupled with deep involvement of the elite, and failure of the judicial system to speedily prosecute suspects, among other factors.
Naanen, who is also the Director, Niger Delta Environment and Relief Fund (NDEREF), stressed the need for new thinking and action on regularising illegal refining sector and drafting modalities to achieving it.
Naanen made the submissions, yesterday, in Port Harcourt while presenting an ‘Interim Report On Combating Upstream Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism in Nigeria, Using International Best Practices.’
According to him, modalities for regularising illegal refining sector will be beneficial because it can service local economy, improve technology and boost revenue generation.
“This will enhance government revenues by taxing regularised operators, ensuring significant employment opportunities and enhancing local capacity in refining,” he noted.
According to him, modular refinery is capital intensive and cannot be a sustainable option to ending oil theft. He urged the Federal Government to develop the political will, like the Mexican government, to eradicate the menace, pointing out that the government of Mexico dealt with natural disasters within six months, and oil theft and spills stopped.