16 April 2015, Abuja – The House of Representatives heard on Wednesday how an oil firm, based in Akwa Ibom State, diverted 11 trucks of crude oil from the STUBBS Creeks Marginal Field in the state.
Mbo youths, who are indigenes and residents of the community, made the disclosure to the House AdHoc Committee looking into the matter in Abuja.
The committee is headed by Mr. Friday Itulah.
In a memorandum presented to the committee, the youths alleged that the diversion was first noticed on February 28 this year.
They said three trucks headed for unknown destinations from the site of the firm, Universal Energy Resources Limited, were accosted by youths.
The committee heard that on March 15, another set of three trucks were accosted, but added that this time, the vehicles had “military escorts.”
On April 8, the committee heard that yet another five trucks were impounded by the youths.
“We know the rules governing the modus operandi in this industry.
“Every crude oil taken must be metred; if it is not, then there must be something fishy going on”, part of the presentation, stated.
However, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Steve Okoko, dismissed the “claim” of the youths.
In a heated debate between a team from the firm and representatives of the community, the firm insisted that the presentation was largely untrue.
The exchange came amid concerns expressed by the Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, who stated that crude oil theft continued to slow down the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Tambuwal, who declared the investigation hearing on the alleged diversion open, told the session that as the mainstay of the economy, any act of sabotage on the oil sector, negatively affected Nigeria.
He said it was in a bid to halt the stealing of crude that the House resolved to investigate any allegation of of crude oil theft.
“Diversion of crude oil, illegal bunkering and vandalism of oil pipelines constitute major leakage and economic sabotage to the nation.
“Regrettably, the surrounding communities, within which the oil wells are located, are further exploited by the exploration companies,” he added.
The committee has 10 days to conclude the investigation.