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Published On: Wed, Jan 8th, 2020

Magu mulls stiffer penalties for oil thieves in 2020

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By Ese Awhotu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu has vowed to intensify the fight against oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
Magu who noted that the anti-graft agency will not relent in fighting oil thieves, said oil thieves in the Niger Delta will find it tough to sabotage Nigeria’s economy through their nefarious acts.
Magu spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital while on a working visit to Zonal Office of the Commission.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the Commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said that the EFCC boss warned the illegal oil thieves in the Niger Delta to desist from acts of oil theft and economic sabotage.
His words: “Let me also use this medium to warn all illegal oil bunkers to desist from their nefarious operations. The EFCC is resolute in its fight against economic sabotage and oil theft.
“The Niger Delta is highly significant to our national economy and the Commission will continue to do all that is lawful and patriotic in ensuring that operators of illegal oil bunkering are brought to book.”
Magu, also visited the 6th Division, Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, where vehicles forfeited to the Federal Government by illegal oil dealers are being kept.
The EFCC boss disclosed that all the forfeited vehicles belong to the Federal Government and the processes for their auction are still ongoing.

He stated that, “All the vehicles forfeited belong to the government. The processes are ongoing. We are following processes stated in the Procurement Act. We are not hiding anything. All the vehicles auctioned are still there. The auction processes continue until payments and reconciliation are made.”
Nigeria is said to record a loss of $2.75 billion to oil thieves and vandals in 2019 alone.
A group, Partner for Petroleum & Energy Sector Prosperity Initiative (P-PESPI) made this known recently in a statement, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently escalate his intervention to stop criminals from vandalizing and stealing the nation’s oil assets.
The group’s Chairman, P-PESPI, Charles Ibiang noted that the persistent criminal activities of vandals was also disrupting the nation’s revenue inflow.

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