October 1, 2023

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Crude Oil Theft Saga Worries Bayelsa Gov

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, is worried that the country is still experiencing cases of crude oil theft and has sought the assistance of the Nigerian Navy to end the malaise.

While receiving participants of Course 7 of the Naval War College led by the Commandant, Rear Admiral Saheed Akinwande in Yenagoa, Diri said with the collaborative efforts of the Navy, the battle would be fought and won.


Commending the federal government on efforts to check the menace of oil theft, Diri stressed the need to ensure zero tolerance for such activities, which he noted had adversely affected the state, the nation’s economy as well as the environment.


He said: “The Navy and other military bodies are also part of this course. Your theme, which is quite apt, is about inland water security, the blue economy and our potential in Bayelsa.


“I commend the federal government because the various bunkering points have been greatly reduced. While I appreciate the federal government and the Navy for their unrelenting efforts, it is not yet uhuru. We still have pockets of bunkering.


“So we need to totally stop bunkering in Bayelsa for reasons that are not far-fetched. It affects our state and the national economy. Our environment is being polluted by oil producing companies and through oil bunkering activities. Our health is also endangered.”


Diri equally spoke on the need to tap the economic potential that abound in the state’s maritime domain to create wealth and boost socio-economic activities that would be mutually beneficial to the state and the country.


According to the governor, “the wealth of this country is in our maritime environment, which is not yet tapped. I think we need this collaboration between our state, the Navy and and other maritime agencies like the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) so that we can harness the thousands and millions of dollars that are untapped in our maritime domain.”



Earlier in his remarks, Akinwande had  said the theme of this year’s environmental study tour was “Inland Waterways Security, Socio-economic Development: Bayelsa State in Perspective.”


Rear Admiral Akinwande said participants are expected to proffer strategies to enhance security within the inland waterways and contribute to the socio-economic development of Bayelsa and Nigeria.


“The model seeks sustainable exploitation of enormous resources in our nation’s maritime environment. The blue economy is valued at 1.5 trillion US dollars.”


He said there are 23 participants, including one from Cameroon, and part of the tour was to visit selected state government and military establishments.

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