By Simon Ebegbulam
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, tasked the Nigeria Labour Congress, NCL, to confront the Federal Government on how hundreds of barrels of crude oil were stolen, without check, on a daily basis.
Speaking at the ground breaking of the Labour House in Benin City, Oshiomhole said Nigeria was being run in a directionless manner, adding that the labour movement must show more interest in the national discourse so that the ship of state can be steered in the right direction.
He said: “Issues of the management of the treasury and oil theft are not the preserve of the political class. Oil is being stolen. Nigeria has a capacity for 2.5 million barrels a day. We had oil performing on an average of $108 a barrel. Over the past few years it has hovered on that average. Sometimes it went to $111, at a time it dropped to $106 per barrel.
“Oil performance has been stable and we based our budget on $98, with the difference over a period of three years, we ought to have huge reserves by now, so that when occasion like this comes, we will live as if there is no fluctuation. But while this was going on, we suddenly heard of crude oil theft. Sometimes about 700 barrels per day is allegedly stolen. Seven hundred barrels per day, these are big vessels.
“I think the NLC needs to show more interest in this politics of oil theft. Who are the people stealing this oil and since when? What has changed about the territorial boundaries of Nigeria? In good times we were told this thing was being stolen and in bad times we are told to fasten our belt. I feel strongly about these things. We have always been hearing about illegal bunkering, but we have never heard of this level of massive oil theft. Someone has a duty to explain that and NLC has a duty to ask,” he added.