Crude Oil Theft: NNPC,NIMASA’s Bosses Must Appear In Person,Reps Insist

Mohammed Shosanya

House of Representatives Representatives Ad’hoc Committee, investigating crude oil theft insisted on appearance, physically, of Group Chief Executive Officers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited,NNPCL, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA).

Its chairman,Alhassan Doguwa,gave the instruction on Friday,during the investigative hearing of the House Committee where Heads of Agencies were invited but rather, sent Directors as representatives.

He said that most of the invited CEOs had written to the House Ad’hoc Committee, asking for permission to be represented by these agency’s subordinate staff as they are not disposed to appear in person and honour the invitation.

Doguwa,who quoted section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended),said the House probe panel has the powers to invite and cause appearance of any individual, government official or corporate entity charged with the responsibility of administration of public funds.

Speaking at the hearing,the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA) and the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Authority, (NUPRA),said the pipelines,well heads and flow stations are the major targets of oil thieves.

The agencies blamed faulty metering procedure, faulty instrument and lack of technology as impediments in the efforts of these agencies in tackling oil theft.

A representative of the CEO of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed and Director, Operations Oseni had told the committee that there is no proper monitoring of the metering of the crude oil produced for exports due to lack of collaboration among agencies.

A committee member Rep Awaji Inombek Abiante, (Rivers, PDP) said argued that pipeline location is not really the major cause of oil theft rather, it’s the neglect of oil host communities.