Gov Obaseki and Nkanga, PANDEF Chairman
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has raised alarm over the continued stealing of crude oil in the Niger Delta region by unknown persons even under the watchful eyes of the military personnel which abounds in the region.
Obaseki revealed that in the last six months of this year 2019, over 22 million barrels of crude oil estimated to worth about N1.35 bn has been stolen in the region.
The governor made the observation when he received in audience a delegation of the National Executive Committee of the Pan Niger-Delta Forum, that visited him at the government house Benin City.
Gov Obaseki with PANDEF Officials
Obaseki question how the military that has so much presence in the region can allow such amount of crude oil to be stolen in just six months of the year.
According to him “What is really worrisome for me, having chaired the NEC committee on stolen crude oil, is the extent of militarisation in our region. About 22 million barrels of crude oil cannot be accounted for in the first half of this year with an estimated cost of almost $1.35 bn.”
The governor also lamented the continued underdevelopment of the region stating that despite trillions of nairas spent in the region on development there was nothing to show for it.
Obaseki said ”There is a need to use the region’s assets for economic growth to prevent people of the Niger Delta from being short-changed and its resources used as slush funds.