The House of Representatives has urged security agencies to desist from setting ablaze vessels laden with stolen crude oil.
The resolution which was passed yesterday at plenary, also followed a resolution to empanel an ad hoc committee to investigate the whereabouts of the 150,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil in the recently burnt vessel, MT TURA, in Escravos River, Warri, Delta State.
The resolution of the House followed the amendment of a motion, titled “Need to Discourage the Destruction of Vessels Laden with Stolen Crude Oil with a view to Curbing Environmental Pollution in the Niger Delta Region”, moved by Thomas Ereyitomi.
Presenting the motion, Ereyitomi noted the recent reports of interception, arrest and subsequent destruction of vessels laden with stolen crude oil in the Niger Delta.
According to him, the most recent was MT TURA II on Friday, July 7, 2023, in the Escravos river in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
He said the vessel, with an 800,000 tonne capacity, was at the time of arrest and destruction, ladened with about 150,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil.
“The said vessel was set ablaze by a joint team of Nigeria security forces and representatives of the NNPC Ltd. on 11h July, 2023.
“In October 2022, a vessel named MT DEIMA which was laden with 1500 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil, was also arrested and set ablaze in the Warri escravos river.
“Setting ablaze stolen crude oil laden vessels will further destroy the well-endowed ecosystem of the Niger Delta region already ravaged by oil exploration.
“This act if allowed to continue, will further affect the livelihood and the overall wellbeing of the Niger Delta people who have fishing as their main occupation.
“The determination of the Federal Government to curb oil spill in the Niger Delta region and make the living condition of the people better,” the lawmaker said.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Environment and Maritime (when constituted) to ensure compliance.