Abia - Abia government has announced its readiness to combat the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the state.
The Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Mineral, Don Ubani, who announced this, said the government had had a “serious” meeting with security agencies on the issue.
“It is becoming a disturbing trend and we have resolved to tackle it head-on and this we must do,'' Ubani said.
He said that those involved in the illegal oil business were enemies of the government and people of the state and urged the citizens to rise against the illicit venture.
He said that that Gov. Theodore Orji established the Abia State Oil Producing Development Commission to accord special attention to the economic needs of oil-producing communities in the state.
He therefore said that illegal bunkering was militating against the focus of the commission as oil derivation funds that would accrue to the state from the Federation Account would be affected.
He said that the security agents had been empowered to deal with any person or group found to be directly or indirectly involved in the nefarious activity.
“We cannot continue this way. The state must develop and if some persons, through illegal business will set us back, we will fight them,'' Ubani added.