A Public Affairs Analyst, Timothy Ademola, on Friday cautioned stakeholders being hasty to make the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) a scape goat in the recent scandal involving the oil agency and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ademola said: “Because of what is happening in the Federal Republic, everybody seems to need a scapegoat and NNPC seems to be the easy option, but my concern is we must look at the facts. Nigeria has become too sophisticated to ‘scapegoat’ people.”
He added that such a tendency may lead to the wrongful persecution of innocent people.
Following the reconciliation meeting between the NNPC, CBN and the Ministry of Finance, it was discovered that a total of 10.8 billion Naira was announced as the actual sum not accounted for. The NNPC argued that there were costs to maintaining constant oil supply to Nigeria and securing the 32 day fuel supply for the entire nation which it stores on the high sea.
“When NNPC is maintaining 32 days sufficiency, there are certain costs to it. One of the clear costs is the fact that security most be provided for this volume of fuel that is being kept on the high sea.”
He however questioned the need to subsidise costs for maintaining security agents after such agencies would have been accounted for in the budget.
The commanding officer, NNS Victory, Commodore James Oluwole has said that his command will rid Calabar of pirates, pipeline vandals, and sea robbers, adding that safety will be restored to the coastal city.
Commodore Oluwole said this, while parading a suspected pirate, Orok Okon who was caught with several gallons of stolen petrol.
Commodore Oluwole told journalists in the Cross River State capital that Okon was caught with stolen PMS from the NNPC Jetty in Calabar, as he was heading to the dry land for sales before being apprehended.
The product had been stored in gallons and hipped into a large wooden boat from the waters.
According to the Commodore, luck ran out of one of the suspects, Orok Okon who was the only one caught as others escaped on siting the BASE Operation officers and his men on patrol.
Oluwole said that the Navy in synergy with other security agencies will continue to join hands with the Chief of Naval Staff’s campaign on ‘Say No to Crude Oil Theft, be Warned by The Nigerian Navy’ to fight sea pirates until crime on the water ways is eradicated to zero level.
He promised to ensure safety on Nigeria’s waterways.
The suspect, the commodore added, will be handed over to NSCDC for further prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others still involved in this economic sabotage.
An illegal refinery has been discovered in Kogi state along Okene and Auchi road by the members of Joint Security Task Force combining the military and the National Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC).
The acting commandant of the NSCDC who disclosed this said seven persons have been arrested in connection with the illegal refinery .
The illegal refinery site which has been in operation for the past two years was found in a forest located just about 6km to a village called Ema.
While speaking to journalists at the site the Acting Commander of the NSCDC in Kogi state noted that it is one of the first illegal refineries discovered in the area which will be destroyed.
He also confirmed that seven suspects in connection to the illegal act have been arrested and investigation will commence immediately.
The task force commander, Lt. Col. Gabriel Olorunyomi while speaking at the site of the crime said it was a joint operation, noting that the force is still trailing others involved in the illegal refinery business..
However, one of the suspects who spoke gave a different story line, stating that he knows nothing about the business that he was initiated to it by someone who borrowed money from him.