22 April 2013, Lagos – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has hinted on the apparent complicity of the national security agencies in the continued incidence of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country as it called on the Federal Government to exercise its muscle in tackling the menace.
PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, who spoke in Lagos, said the acts were criminal and tantamount to economic sabotage.
Revealing the outcome of the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the union on April 4, 2013, in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, he said: “During our NEC in Calabar, we condemned the increasing level of pipeline vandalism and the attendant crude oil and petroleum products theft and the apparent complicity of the security agencies as completely unacceptable.
“Pipe vandalism and the attendant crude oil and petroleum products theft constitute not just a drain on the nation’s resources, but also a major environmental hazard as well as threat to our democracy and national security”.
He urged oil companies operating in the country and the government to invest in modern technologies to check the incidence of pipe vandalism and oil theft.
Ogun, who also spoke on deregulation, advised government against moves to further increase the pump prices of petroleum products.
He urged that appropriate environment must be in place before the government could consider engaging stakeholders on the issue.