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The House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday resolved to investigate the brazen destruction of a vessel caught with stolen crude oil and what happened to the 150,000 barrels of crude in the vessels.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to Discourage the Destruction of Vessels Laden with Stolen Crude Oil with a View to Curbing Environmental Pollution in the Niger Delta Region,’ moved by Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi, at plenary.
Ereyitomi, while presenting his motion recalled the recent reports of interception, arrest and subsequent destruction of vessels laden with stolen crude oil in the Niger Delta region, the most recent being MT TURA II on Friday 7″ July, 2023 in the escravos river in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State.
He noted that the vessel MT TURA, an 800,000 tonne capacity vessel, was at the time of arrest and destruction, laden with about 150,000 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil.
The lawmaker said the vessel was set ablaze by a joint team of Nigeria security forces and representatives of the NNPC Ltd. on 11″ July, 2023.
“In October 2022, a vessel named MT DEIMA which was laden with 1500 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil, was also arrested and set ablaze in the Warri escravos river.
“That setting ablaze stolen crude oil laden vessels will further destroy the well-endowed ecosystem of the Niger Delta region already ravaged by oil exploration,” he added.
He, however, stressed that the act, if allowed to continue, would further affect the livelihood and the overall wellbeing of the Niger Delta people who have fishing as their main occupation.
The House consequently mandated its Committee on Environment (when constituted) to ensure compliance.