Speaking at the Presidential Villa, at the opening of the Maritime Sector Presidential retreat, President Goodluck Jonathan expressed concern over the stealing of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil by illegal bunkerers, and vowed to end the practice.
At the event, President Goodluck Jonathan, said â€śIt is embarrassing that it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. It is very bad news and I believe that Nigerians and foreigners who indulge in the act need to put their heads under the pillow.
â€śWe are not the only oil producing country. Why is it that it is only in Nigeria that people steal crude oil? This must stop. We will be decisive in putting an end to this malaise. Our charge to all relevant agencies and departments of government is to work with the required urgency this challenge deserves.â€ť
"Given its importance in the national economy, we have an uncompromising obligation to safeguard our territorial waters against all threats: poaching, piracy, pipeline vandalism, coastal insecurity, crude oil theft, bunkering, non-payment of statutory levies and charges, illegal entry of ships into our territorial waters, illegal importation of arms and hard drugs, among other sundry crimes.
â€śEven though it is generally known that the West African coast has the richest fishery resources in Africa, our inability to take advantage of our endowment has been attributed to inadequate law enforcement and industry capacity.â€ť
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who also spoke at the event, commented on the cost of inadequate maritime safety in Nigeria. She said, â€śIndigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria said that we now lose over N2 trillion annually in capital flight to foreign countries which own vessels used to lift about 150 million tons of cargos including oil products from this country as there is no Nigerian flag ship currently plying international routes. Nigerian-own vessels make up less than one per cent of the global fleets and are quite old with an average of 30 years of ageâ€ť.
She also pointed out that piracy has risen from 45 per cent in 2010 to 64 per cent in 2012 and threatens Nigeriaâ€™s over $600 million fishing industry.
President Goodluck Jonathan also set up a 14-member committee to review maritime sector operations and to draw up roadmap for effective maritime operations in Nigeria. The committee is also tasked with making recommendations for the development and effective exploitation of the potential in the maritime sector.
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
walts05 lagos, nigeria July 24, 2012
The people at d top are stealing d crude oil officially while d commoners are still unofficially. No problem Mr. Presido. It is one of those things.
Pastor Commander Samyoung Onwuzulike Washington, DC, USA July 24, 2012
My President come down. Why is it only in Nigeria Law Makers, Government Officials, Military, Business Men and Customs loot the public treasury into their private account and go free?
Why is it in Nigeria there are many cover up of crimes that weakens the economy of the Nation Bankole with AGF technical law cover up? Why is it in Nigeria OBJ and his groups stole $16,000, 000, 000 and no probe? Why is it in Nigeria Anenih can not give account of his services as a Minister of Works? You have Navy, Customs, immigrations, Police, Army and NNPC security in oil terminals still oil is being stolen? I want to help you but when I look at problems on your neck came from helping the criminals, it makes me weak.
All these Gods of Nigeria who enslaved you must die for you to be free and perform your duty as a President. Now the North came against with another shackle of slavery binding your legs. Then they put the shackles of impeachment to make you more submissive to their will. Do you want to be free from their slavery, Christ Commanders are ready to help you to put all these Gods to death.
Palento Warri, Nigeria July 24, 2012
Why will his people not continue to steal crude oil when they are handled with kids gloves. These Niger Delta people do not care about their environment. They systematically create environmental degradation by burnig crude oil in the name of local refineries. GEJ THESE ARE YOUR BOYS.