Nigeria Needs U.S.$1 Trillion to Clean-Up Niger Delta

Lagos — The Federal government says over $1trillion is required to clean-up the Niger Delta area impacted by the ravaging activities of illegal refineries and oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, who disclosed this in Lagos yesterday at a conference on oil and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, decried the current wastages in the nation’s oil industry.

He said while it is difficult to actually estimate how much crude oil is stolen in Nigeria, the environment impact the development has on the people of Niger Delta cannot be over-emphasised.

Kuku said the president has since empowered Joint military forces to tackle those who are hell-bent in sabotaging the nation’s economy and its environment.

According to him, efforts of the security forces in checking the activities of the saboteurs are now yielding results.

“We are aware that several sites of illegal refining have been dismantled and destroyed. We are entering a critical phase in frontally confronting this challenge and there is no doubt that we will triumph. President Jonathan has also established a high-power committee consisting of key ministers, the security agencies and governors of states in the Niger Delta,” he stated.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba implored multinational oil companies to employ scientific approach to protect their pipelines as well as redesign their corporate social responsibility to dissuade the minds of people from oil theft.

Major-General Bata Debiro Commander, Operation Pulo Shield of Joint Task Force said the command is winning the war against pipeline vandalisation and oil theft.

Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ade Abolurin emphasized the need for appropriate legislation and moral revaluation among the youths with a view to nipping oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the bud.

He said the agency is doing its best to stop vandals adding that his officials handed over 85 vandals arrested to the minister of Justice for prosecution.