President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said his administration is determined to put an end to stealing of crude oil he described as embarrassing to the government as Nigeria is the only country in the world where such theft is taking place.
The President said this while delivering his remarks at the presidential maritime security retreat with the theme “Harnessing the Potential of Nigeria’s Maritime Sector for Sustainable Economic Development” holding in Abuja.
“We will be decisive in putting an end to this malaise”, the President said.
He therefore challenged all government agencies that have the responsibility of tackling the problem to work together to ensure that theft of crude oil was eradicated in the country.
The President who noted that the maritime sector is a critical component in the economic development of the country added that government has “uncompromising obligation to safeguard territorial waters against all threats -poaching, piracy, pipeline vandalism, coastal insecurity, crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, non-payment of statutory levies and charges, illegal entry of ships into our territorial waters, illegal importation of arms and hard drugs, amongst other sundry crimes.”
According to him, government is determined to protect Nigeria’s natural resources for sustainable use of the present and future generations.
“To this end, the Maritime Operations Coordinating Committee is already working to address all illegalities in the maritime domain”, Jonathan who added that the Committee is made up of all maritime agencies, and Transport, Finance and Justice Ministries said.
“Also, a sustainable patrol arrangement to enhance collection of revenue and ensure maritime safety has also been approved. We are encouraging an integrated port security system in all the ports for maximum result” he added.
The President therefore appealed to all the stakeholders participating at the retreat to come up with a strong intelligence and information gathering system, and other measures that can be useful in tackling the problem of theft of crude oil.