Illegal Crude Refiners Ruining Our Health, National Economy – Wike.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike claims unlicensed crude oil refinery operators are endangering citizens’ health and damaging the national economy.
Wike made the announcement while meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, at Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor emphasized the significance of the battle on illicit crude oil refinery activities, stating that earnings from the oil and gas industry supported the country.
“You and I know that one product we have today that has kept this country going is oil and gas, which I will say is the main source of our revenue in this country today.
“We must as a people, as a government, it doesn’t matter whichever faction you may be or whichever divide you may be, or you may find yourself, what is important is that you must defend our national assets,” he said.
Wike stated that his government will not spare any significant step that may be used to halt unlawful crude oil refinery operations in the state.
Those involved in illicit activities, he believes, should consider how much money they are gaining by damaging the national economy.
“I will do anything within my powers to see that it is put to stop. I owe it as a duty, first by making sure that government is not losing revenue.
“Whenever we lose national revenue, it trickles down. It affects us at the state and local government levels and that is the revenue aspect of it,” Gov. Wike said.
He pointed to the issues of health, occasioned by soot, that results from the criminal activities.
“I am willing to fight it and will continue to fight it. Some people are trying to politicise it, that I am acting against certain ethnic groups. That can’t change me, it doesn’t matter,” he stated.
Wike indicated that his administration was prepared to provide the necessary logistical support to security agencies as they joined the state in combating the threat.
He indicated that certain key locations had been discovered, and that all personnel assigned to destroy them needed proper security protection.
Gov. Wike requested the Chief of Defence Staff to issue a final command to his officers and troops to join forces with the Rivers administration to combat illicit oil bunkering.
According to him, this will prevent additional environmental and economic devastation.
In his statement, Gen. Irabor stated that he was in Port Harcourt as part of a tour of Niger Delta military units.
He stated that the visit was intended to examine security methods and motivate cops to be more efficient.
Irabor praised Gov. Wike’s courage in supporting the battle against illicit crude oil refinery activities, which have posed a significant threat to the oil and gas industry.
He stated that the military has long sought such a government-focused approach to the protection of oil and gas assets and hoped that other governors would follow Wike’s lead.