The accusation came against the backdrop of recent outcries by oil multinationals and state governments over the adverse effect of illegal bunkering on crude oil production.
Bayelsa and Delta states governors, Hon Seriake Dickson and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, had recently raised the alarm over the effect of illicit deals on the revenue profiles of their states.
However, Comrade Austine Ozobo of the IPDI, in a statement said illegal bunkering is not as bad as being portrayed by the oil multinationals.
He said multinational oil firms are exaggerating the prevalence of the crime and volume stolen in order to “make more profit and pay less tax and returns to the Federal Government.”
He urged the Federal Government and its agencies not disregard the oil firm’s report by undertaking independent assessments of claims.
He added: “It is also true that the oil companies are running illegal oil wells and underestimated numbers of barrel produce per-day which the government did not know about, it is sad!
‘’The attitude of the oil companies are worse than the known oil thieves we are shouting about, only few of the oil wells and oil produced per day by the oil companies are reported. I tell you there many oil wells and barrel produce that are not known by the federal government.”
– The Nation