From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Oil marketers, under the aegis of Association of Tank Farm Oil and Gas Marketers of Nigeria (ATOGMAN), have commended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for taking action against illegal refineries and oil bunkering.
Wike had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the 23 local government areas chairmen to provide list of illegal refineries and their operators within their areas in the ongoing battle to stop the menace of soot.
In addition, he ordered the redeployment of a divisional police officer in charge of Emohua Local Government Area of the state, for operating illegal refinery.
The governor said, “he must leave this state. I can’t be governor here and the security man owns an illegal refinery. No, it is not possible. The man has to go. Take him to wherever they allow bunkering.”
To this end, ATOGMAN’s National President, Lawrence Kanu, in a statement, yesterday, said the decision of Governor Wike would drastically reduce the act as Nigeria was losing N25 billion monthly to illegal oil operators.
Kanu said ATOGMAN would support the governor in any way possible to ensure insidious act is nipped in the bud.
He, however, called on Nigerians to provide intelligence to security agencies to arrest and prosecute unlicensed operators.
“ATOGMAN hails Governor Wike’s actions and pledged to support fight against illegal bunkering.
“All hands should be on deck, through community policing to stop the menace. With the recent development, if we can join hands together in the fight against illegal bunkering, it would help Nigeria economically, there will be no need for fuel increase as speculated by the Federal Government in February 2022.”
He also applauded the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Audi Abubarkar, for disbanding the Anti Bunkering Unit in Rivers State Command and advised other agencies to do same.
He advised that, “any officer that have served in Rivers State for six months, must be transferred to another state for effectiveness.
“Same to be done nationwide. I mean massive transfer nationwide any officer serving in the South, South West and South East must be transferred to northern part, and those currently serving in northern Nigeria should be transferred to South East, South South and South West for efficiency.”