Senator Seriake Dickson representing Bayelsa West said some very important personalities (VIPs) from Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are behind oil theft in Niger Delta.

Dickson stated this in an interview on Channels Television on Friday.

The two-term governor of Bayelsa State said the official system and oil companies are beneficiaries of oil theft in the Niger Delta.

According to him, there is an absence of national values which makes people to use the nation’s resources for selfish gains.

He said, “People from Abuja and Lagos are the masterminds and the official system is not ignorant and not innocent. The official security system, the official oil system, the official federal system, all of it in its entirety. It’s a powerful system.

“Why should a country like Nigeria that has been producing oil, exporting oil for the past 70 years not have a scientific way of metering, recording what leaves, what is pumped, what is sold and what is not sold? And it’s deliberate.

“It’s not a Niger Delta thing; it’s just happening there and it is unfortunate that it has destroyed communities because there is too much illegal money, illegal arms, illicit drugs and it has fueled cultism because people want to get the loyalties of young people to be able to hold territories where oil facilities are.

“They need weapons and young men that are always high on drugs. You think a man who slaughters and cuts off a man’s head and dismember him is normal? So, those are people who are actively on drugs.”

He said a global consensus should be formed that makes the international community reject stolen crude oil from Nigeria.

Dickson called for strong political will on the part of the government at all levels to stop oil theft.

Oil theft has existent in Nigeria for years with volumes of oil being lifted by in the oil sector without being accounted for.

Recall that in 2022, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had said it uncovered an illegal oil connection operated for nine years with about 600,000 barrels per day of oil lost in the same period.

About 108,000 barrels of crude are reportedly stolen daily in Nigeria. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries which Nigeria is a member estimates that the country lost 2.3 million barrels monthly, amounting to over $1 billion monthly.

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