Oil theft: British parliamentarians task Nigeria on surveillance

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By Habiba Salihu

 Members of British House of Commons have suggested use of surveillance aircraft as a better means of  tackling incessant cases of theft and bunkering Nigeria.

members said this on Thursday during a presentation on “Security and Human Rights Niger Delta” by Rivers Gov. Rotimi Ameachi.

They said that better surveillance would ensure direct information gathering on what quantity of is being stolen and those involved in the crime.

They said that theft, insecurity and environmental degradation were big challenges which required rapid response and synergies between states and the Federal to be addressed.

The members also noted the increased level of piracy in the , saying that the development had made it difficult for seafarers to go to West Africa.

 Nigeria has sought assistance of the international community in tackling oil theft by calling for close and prosecution of companies and individuals involved in the illegal trade.

In his submission, Ameachi attributed oil theft and insecurity challenges in the country to poverty.

“We a Nigerian president who will rule the country as a nation; for instance, the of Boko Haram, kidnapping and oil theft are poverty related.

“When people are not meaningfully engaged they become willing tools for destruction.

has to create opportunities for people to be educated and engaged,” he said.

He also stressed the for to deal with the issue of impunity, saying “we are talking about oil theft and nobody has gone to jail”.

“If we deal with the of impunity and poverty, oil theft will reduce, kidnapping and other crimes will be on the  decline; this we can do by collaborating with the local and international communities,” Ameachi said.

To this end, the governor said that his administration had put in place various initiatives and schemes in the areas of agriculture, health and .

“We have built and equipped 500 primary schools with ICT facility” to empower ,” he said.

According to him, providing social security through basic amenities is vital to Nigeria’s development.