No fewer than 250 youths have been recruited by the Bayelsa government to combat oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the state. The enlisted youths are to work with the Bayelsa State Oil and Gas Taskforce.
Inaugurating the task force on Friday, Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa said that the aim of the initiative was to meaningfully engage youths in the state in curbing revenue lost from pipeline vandalism.
The governor was represented by his Special Adviser on Oil and Gas, Mr Felix Bonny-Ayah. Dickson said that securing oil infrastructure against vandalism, bunkering and other anti social vices for the good of the state and the nation was of strategic importance.
He also said that the taskforce would be used to shut down facilities of companies that violate laid down rules. Dickson, however, warned the new employees not to see their recruitment as an opportunity to acquire wealth. He also advised them to remain law abiding citizens of the state and the country at large.
The governor assured residents that vandalism and bunkering activities would be completely tackled in the state soon. “The taskforce will work with security agencies and other relevant bodies saddled with similar responsibility,’’ he said.
Mr Tare Porri, a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, said he was confident that oil and gas companies in the state would support the move to ensure a safer environment. Porri urged the task force to be loyal to the course of their operations, adding that the administration was committed to sustaining an economically viable state.