Lagos - President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed that his government was considering using electronic surveillance methods to tackle the problem of massive oil theft in the country.
The President who was represented by the President of the senate, David Mark, said this was part of measures government was exploring to curb the problem, which was particularly rife in the Niger Delta.
“My administration has embarked on a number of far-reaching measures to combat these unwholesome activities. Government is exploring the possibility of using electronic pipeline surveillance to track down oil theft,” Jonathan said in a statement Mark read at an oil and gas investment forum in Onne, Port Harcourt in the Rivers State.
Although the president did not disclose if any contract had been awarded for the electronic surveillance or when the new approach would begin, he however said that relevant regulatory agencies were working ‘round the clock’ to combat the challenge.
The President directed that the agencies concerned should also ensure strict enforcement on the ban on the illegal discharge of cargo and receiving of vessels at private jetties.
Nigeria oil theft losses amount to an estimated US$6 billion annually.
Jonathan meanwhile said government had chosen Onne as an oil and gas free trade zone because the area was strategic and would showcase the investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, revenue generated in the zone has increased from $5.4 billion in 2011 to $7.1 billion while foreign direct investments had increased from $4 billion to $4.2 billion dollars during the period.
“Available statistics indicate that the companies operating in the free zone have increased from 150 in 2011 to 170 in 2013, employment regeneration has increased from 30 000 in 2011 to 34 000 in 2013. Support to family livelihood has grown from 180 000 in 2011 to 200 000 in 2013. If these indices do not indicate an attractive environment for investors, I wonder what would,” he said.
– CAJ News