The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has asked the federal government and relevant agencies to deploy technology to tackle oil theft.
Festus Osifo, president, Trade Union Congress (TUC), said this during a media briefing in Lagos on Monday.
Osifo called for the use of drone technology to carry out pipeline surveillance.
He suggested that instead of placing soldiers who would compromise, “you can have a multi-layer and a sophisticated control room where you monitor these activities, and you can respond swiftly if there is a suspicious activity”.
Osifo said companies operating in the Niger Delta are shutting down production because “some of them will pump in 50,000 barrels and at the end of the day, they will get like 2000 or 3000 barrels”.
“I listened to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) recently as he stated that there is total collusion. The collusion is total, both from the community, those outside the communities, both from stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, the security personnel sent to man the pipelines,” Osifo said.
“So that is why when it is reported that about 400,000 barrels are lost. It is not actually because the entire barrels are stolen but because most of the companies have decided to shut down their operations in those large areas.
“So it is a fundamental problem. We should stop talking now, we should start acting. Those whose responsibility is to solve the problem should go to the field and use technology to solve the problem.
“It is not about coming to the media and starting making inciting statements. Those are not really necessary. Because the problem we have had is you have the chief of army staff sitting somewhere in Abuja and giving press statements.
“But what are the machinery put in place to ensure that those junior officers that are posted to the creeks in the Niger Delta are doing the work they are posted there to do? Those are the things they should be telling us. And those are the things we want to hear.”
He also called on the federal government to implement stiffer penalties to punish culprits involved in crude oil theft, adding that it would serve as a disincentive to others intending to engage in the act and restore sanity to the oil sector.