BY CHRIS OCHAYI
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Chairman, National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft, NECCOT, said yesterday that 80 percent of stolen crude was sold in the international market.
He added that the theft in the Niger Delta would continue until the Federal Government begins to prosecute the big oil thieves.
Uduaghan, in his presentation at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, said his committee believed in prosecution of those linked to oil theft to reduce the scope of theft.
He said: “We need the political will to get the big players in the oil theft ring and prosecute them. By the time we start serious prosecution of these people, the oil theft will reduce.”
The governor regretted that the jerry can-carrying oil thieves were being arrested, wondering why the big players were not arrested.
Uduaghan also canvassed Nigeria’s collaboration with the international community to end the ugly trend
He said: “We require international collaboration to discourage patronage of stolen crude oil from Nigeria in the international market.
“We need international collaboration to reduce arms shipped into the country and used for oil theft. The arms used by these people are manufactured in abroad.”