The Federal Government has lauded the nation’s military for their efforts in the fight towards ending crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and oil and gas sector.
The Minister of Petroleum, State, Hon. Timipri Silver, spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, while addressing officers and men of the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force at premises of the during a visit to security formations in the state to re-assess the ongoing fight against oil theft.
Silver, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari commended the military for their efforts in combating the menace, but charged them not to rest on the oars of the achievements already recorded.
He said the fight has not recorded 100% success, but that the gains of the war has seen significant success, adding that the war must be won hundred percent before end of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister said the success recorded was because the military took the orders of the president seriously, taking them to double their efforts.
Silver said: “A few months ago I led a high powered team to charge you to ensure there is no more stealing of our crude oil. This is a national asset. Mr President has vowed no tolerance for stealing of the national asset.
“I am happy to announce that I am back again with commendation from the president. He has acknowledge the efforts you have made. There is significant improvement in the crude oil production, Nigerians have noticed, the international community have noticed.
“Since then we have seen significant improvement which means you took the charge seriously. today he sent us for commendation that you are doing well for the nation.
“You have not eradicated it 100%, but it has reduced drastically. double your efforts so that before the exit of Mr President, we have completely eradicated that.”
Silver said it is not time for the military to celebrate the successes recorded but to rather push further to ensure to total eradication of oil theft.
“It is not time to rest in our oars. Ensure that stealing of oil is 100% eradicated in the in Nigeria and the Niger Delta. We urge you to redouble efforts in completing the job of ending oil theft.
“This should be a morale booster. I leave you at the moment, but we will be coming time to time. We are happy that we have made significant improvement in the fight,” he added.
Also, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, earlier, stated that the Federal Government had observed that oil theft has reduced to its barest minimum, adding that the fight was on the right side.
Irabor said: “Few months ago with a charge from president on the challenge in the Niger Delta, especially in the oil and gas to evaluate what has happened on where we were, were we are now and where we ought to be.
“Our crude production was going low, but we have observed that we are on the right side. There is a decline in oil theft.”
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