From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta.
Members of the committee are drawn from the Ministry of Defence, Defence Headquarters, army, navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Environment, Department of Petroleum Resources and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
They committee is tasked with the mandate of “recovery of illegally refined petroleum products in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.”
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), who inaugurated the committee said the move was to block revenue leakages in the oil sector.
He was represented at the ceremony by Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Umar Muhammed.
Mohammed said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the secretariat of the inter-ministerial committee.
“The responsibility of the inter-ministerial committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment. The committee shall be guided by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) developed for the project. The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019. It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country,” he said.