Stop burning vessels with stolen crude oil, lawmakers warn security agencies



The House of Representatives on Tuesday cautioned security agencies to desist further from destroying vessels containing stolen crude oil, saying the practice is having a negative impact on the environment.

This followed the adoption of a motion on “The 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 on the floor of the Green Chamber on Tuesday.

This is even as the  House mandated its  Committee on Environment (when constituted) to ensure compliance.

Ereyitomi, in the motion, told the House that there have been reports of interception, arrest, and subsequent destruction of vessels laden with stolen crude oil in the Niger Delta area in recent times.

He cited a vessel, MT TURA II, which he claimed was destroyed on Friday, July 7, 2023, in the Escravos river in Warri South-West Local Government Area of  Delta State.

“The vessel MT TURA, an 800,000-tonne capacity vessel, was at the time of arrest and destruction, laden 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.

“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,” adding that this will “Ultimately further affect the livelihood and the overall wellbeing of the people of the area,” he said.