From Jonas Ezieke, Abuja
Operation Delta Safe, a military operation launched in 2016 by the Chief of Defence Staff Brig-Gen Gabriel Olonishakin to protect oil facilities and installations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria has accused major oil producing companies in the country of sabotaging their efforts to checkmate oil theft.
At an investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Oil Theft on Tuesday, the military operation said it would have been able to reduce oil theft to a very low level but for the sabotage of the oil producing companies in Nigeria that had vowed not to cooperate with the operation.
Speaking at the hearing, Theatre Commander of the Operation Air Vice Marshal A.Akirinnade said the oil producing companies are the major reason why oil theft is still subsisting in the country.
While commenting the efforts of Shell Petroleum Development Company SPDC on tackling oil theft, he had accused the other major oil-producing companies notably NAOC, Chevron,Exonn-Mobil and Total of sabotaging their operation in oil theft.
He called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC to compel these oil producing companies to improve their governance structure of their pipelines.
The military top brass also harped on the need for a speedy approval of the National Economic Council NEC recommendations on strategies for curtailment of oil theft in Nigeria.
Moreover, an indigenous oil company Oriental Energy Limited has decried the amount of crude oil left to oil theft in Nigeria on daily basis.
Managing Director of the company Ignatius Folarin while proffering lasting solution to the challenge of oil theft had noted that over 400,000 liters of petrol which translates to 2000 trailers of petroleum products is lost daily to theft.
Similarly,Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee Hon. Peter Akpatason said that oil theft cannot continue to go on unhindered without the active connivance of the military and other security agents.
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