The Federal Government according to Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio-Briggs does not know the quantity of oil being pumped in the Country daily.
The highly respected Niger Delta activist spoke exclusively to TVC News’s Tolulope Ogunjobi as the guest on the show, Business Nigeria on Wednesday afternoon added that it is not a new thing.
She said the recent concerted efforts being made by government on the issue of Oil theft is nothing but a waste of time.
She said the fact the IOC’s, the Federal Government and Other key stakeholders in the sector cannot say with any certainty how much oil is being produced in the country daily shows that the theft will not stop or abate anytime soon,.
She also accused Operators in the sector, government officials, Security agencies and Other Stakeholders of involvement in the rampaging monster that has now become the major issue making it impossible to for the Country to Secure the benefits of the high Oil price triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She lamented the failure of successive governments to address issues of environmental pollution and Other associated hazards of the Oil and Gas sector.
She said this is a sad development that is baffling to her as a Niger Delta daughter.
She also described the various agencies and policies that arose out of the agitation for a better deal by the people of the Niger Delta such as the Amnesty programme, NDDC, Niger Delta Ministry and Others as moves designed to keep the agitations at bay and not to benefit or develop the region.
Read Excerpts of her Interview below….
“Well, it’s very sad to me, as a Niger Delta daughter, as a person from river state that produces oil and a region that produces oil, luckily or unlucky, I don’t know. But I grew up in the Niger Delta and I knew what the Niger Delta looked like. I knew what the creeks looked like before oil was found and before oil was exported as a concern, economic concern, for Nigeria before independence.
And I also know the after effect of the reckless exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Niger Delta region because along with my community and so many other communities, I am a victim, a direct victim of the pollution, of the exploitation that comes with the exploration of oil and gas.
And that is really, in my opinion and experience, is attributed by the fact that we have had governments after government that have no interest, have had no interest in ensuring that one basic human right is fulfilled in the Niger Delta region.
And that is, it is a human right that everybody should be able to live in an environment that is conducive to their life. That is, they should be able to live well in an environment that does not give them illness and sicknesses and things like that.
When you look at it from that perspective. Nothing has come out of the Niger Delta oil for the Niger Delta people. Now, before I go any further, I don’t want to hear about NDDC, Amnesty, Ministry of Niger Delta. None of those things have been set up for the good of the Niger Delta people. It has always been set up to, if you like, stay away. Whatever agitation that the Niger Delta people were prepared to come up with. Now Nigeria takes away the resources that is in the Niger Delta.
It doesn’t put anything back. Even geologically, it does not put anything back. So at some point, we may have the effect of global warming. And the reality, therefore, is that corruption is a major contributing factor of what has gone on in the Niger Delta. Yes, corruption, oil theft. When people talk about oil theft, I smile, because oil theft may be new to Nigeria in the past ten years or so, but we know that oil theft has been going on long before Nigerian government and the oil companies accepted that oil theft was going on. Nigeria as a country cannot actually put their hands on their heart and say that we know how much oil is being lifted today.
If you see, when they want to calculate, you say something like, we are producing below 100 million. No. If you know what is happening, you will know how many barrels of oil you’re producing. You cannot be estimating how many barrels of oil you’re producing. You cannot estimate how many cubic feet of gas that is coming out. And so the government, the oil companies, the forces, the security forces, the navy, are all involved in what has been going on for more for as long as actually looking back, for as long as oil has been found in the Niger Delta, and for as long as they’ve been selling it in the name of Nigeria, oil theft has been going on.
So when we look at the pollution that we live with on a daily basis. And you look at the lack of development that is in the Night Delta and the level of corruption that is in the Niger Delta. I honestly wonder why my people and I still continue to accept that the Nigerian government has a right to continue to take the oil and gas that is in the Niger Delta. And that we. As a birthright. Must we continue to suffer the ills of the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in Nigeria”.