Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has declared war on illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the State.
He made the declaration at a meeting with Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, GMD of Nigerian National Petroleum Limited, Mele Kyari and other top government functionaries held at the New Executive Chambers, Government House, Owerri, Monday.
He disclosed that efforts have been initiated by his administration with security agencies to curb oil theft and secure oil production in the state.
He called for enhanced collaboration between the Federal Government, NNPC , stakeholders to eliminate the menace in the State.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva said that “the problem of crude oil theft has reached a level of national emergency” and that “the situation cannot be handled in Abuja alone.”
The Minister said: “It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and has reached a very bad crescendo. This is because the thefts are taking place in the Communities that host the oil pipelines and as a result, it has become necessary to involve the Stakeholders, especially the host Communities.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, appreciated the Governor for his efforts in supporting the Armed Forces towards contending the escalated actions against all criminality along the oil producing areas in South East.
He called on the State Government, the Stakeholders and the Communities to “be involved in the fight against oil theft to a reasonable percentage and leave the rest for the Armed Forces,” assuring that “the Armed Forces are always available to receive further support to fight banditry and all other forms of criminality in Nigeria and Imo State in particular.”