The House of Representatives, on Friday said that the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigeria National Petroleum Limited (NNPCL), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) must appear in person before the and not send representatives.
Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating Crude Oil Theft, Alhassan Rurum gave the ruling on the matter on the second day of the investigative hearing of the panel where the heads of the agencies were invited but they rather sent their directors as representatives.
According to him, most of the invited CEOs had written to the House probe panel asking for permission to be represented by these agencies’ heads subordinate staff as they are not disposed to appear in person and honour the committe’s invitation
He said that the House probe panel has the powers under Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite and cause the appearance of any individual, government official or corporate entity charged with the responsibility of administration of public funds.
At the hearing, the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority NMDPRA and the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Authority NUPRA said that the pipelines and flow stations are the major targets of these oil thieves.
They also blamed faulty metering procedure, faulty instruments and lack of technology as impediments in the efforts of these agencies to tackle oil theft.
A representative of the CEO of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, had told the committee that there is no proper monitoring of the metering of the crude oil produced for exports due to lack of collaboration among agencies.
A Committee member Awaji Inombek Abiante, said that the pipeline location is not really the major cause of oil theft rather it is the neglect of oil host communities.
In his ruling, the Ad-hoc Committee Chairman, Rurum said that the heads of all the invited agencies must appear in person on Monday September 11, 2023 the next adjourned sitting date.
He also requested that the invited CEOs of these agencies come with a list of all other agencies working in export terminal of all the nation’s oil sector.