Governor Peter Obi
Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, Wednesday said it was time the Federal Government dealt decisively with crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
He said Nigeria could no longer afford to lose nearly 50 per cent of its budget to crude oil theft in the region.
Obi stated this in Port Harcourt while speaking as the special guest of honour at the fourth Emmanuel Egbogah Legacy Lecture Series on Petroleum Economics Policy and Strategy at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
The lecture with theme: “Geopolitics of Petroleum,” was organised by UNIPORT’s Emerald Energy Institute for Energy Economics, Policy and Strategic Studies, which has Prof. Ben Naanen as Director, in collaboration with the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) of the university.
The lecture was to mark the 70th birthday of Emerald Energy Institute’s benefactor, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, a former presidential adviser.
According to Obi, “We cannot continue to have a situation where nearly 50 per cent of our national budget is stolen. We must as a country address the issue aggressively. I thank President Goodluck Jonathan for what he has done so far, in terms of dealing with the fuel subsidy and oil theft.
“I like his (President Jonathan’s) directive to the Navy, to everybody. We cannot go on like this. Those stealing the crude oil are Nigerians. We should be able to deal with them decisively.
“Nobody is above the country. Nobody can be above the country. No matter how connected they are, we want to disconnect that connection.”
Obi, who is also the Chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum, stated that quite unfortunately, persons being celebrated in Nigeria were most corrupt individuals, with corruption killing professionalism, while the country’s stars were not being celebrated.
Obi insisted that Nigerian leaders must he held responsible for the situation of things in the country, but admonished the followers to always tell the leaders the truth.