The Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute suspected crude oil thieves in the country.
Making the call, Wednesday in Abuja, at the inauguration of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft in the Nigeria, Tambuwal made advised that the EFCC must act in collaboration with international law enforcement agencies to achieve its objective.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for instance, should be made to take a closer look at those behind the transportation and purchase of stolen oil in the country,
“It should act in conjunction with other international law enforcement agencies, for criminal prosecution under the procedure of Mutual Legal Assistance.”
Tambuwal also said that the House would ensure that law enforcement agencies were well equipped to carry out their investigation of those engaged in the illicit business.
“This House must use its influence to ensure that the law enforcement agencies approach their investigation of the criminals engaged in oil field theft from a more sophisticated angle.
“We need to put in place the right kind of legislation to improve the monitoring of on-shore and off-shore areas in order to discourage vandalism.
“We need to establish a robust regulatory framework to plug all loopholes through which all sorts of official and unofficial corruption thrive in the oil sector,” he said.
Tambuwal noted that oil theft had reached a level that required the assistance of every Nigerian to check the dangerous trend.
“Oil theft in our country has now reached an industrial scale, we need the concerted efforts of all stakeholders who must be invited and heard at a scheduled 5-day public hearing.
“There is also no doubt that we must try, as much as possible, to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as soon as possible.”