Niger Delta Elders Write Monguno over FG’s Panel on Oil Theft

* Say Nigeria loses $1.9bn monthly

Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa

Elders and stakeholders from Niger Delta  have expressed concern over the dwindling fortunes of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) due to the alleged divided attention of the Interim Administrator, Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd.) following his appointment as the substantive Chairman of an 11-man committee of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the region by the presidency.

The elders and stakeholders in statement made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, alleged that despite the fact that the people of the region were elated that the Presidency found Ndiomu worthy of heading the Special Investigative panel, the daily operations of the Presidential Amnesty Programme was suffering.

They listed some of the programs not getting the needed attention as staff welfare, payments to thousands of PAP beneficiaries, tuition fees payment to thousands of beneficiaries, empowerment programmes, payment to legitimate contractors and a host of other issues bordering on national security.
The stakeholders under the aegis of the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), in the letter addressed to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Ma. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.), demanded that Ndiomu should focus on his tasks in the federal government’s fight against crude oil theft.
They also call for an urgent need for the appointment of an Interim Administrator for the Presidential Amnesty programme to avoid the programme’s derailment from its mandates due to neglect of official duties and responsibilities, and lack of concentration emanating from the double-portfolio given to Ndiomu.

 The letter dated February 3, 2023, and signed by the Convener of the MSDND, Chief Ayebatekena Olodi and its Secretary-General, Chief Godwin Pere-Ebikabowei, stated that “in-light of the unfolding, scary and scandalous revelations emanating from the office of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, to the effect that Nigeria loses a staggering sum of $1.9 billion USD monthly to oil theft. This revelation is not only mind-boggling but calls for urgent and proactive measures by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to stem this ugly tide before insolvency sets in.”

“Our nation should not be losing $1.9billion monthly to crude oil thieves. Therefore, given that our nation’s security and livelihood is at stake, we urgently call on you to use your good office to empower Major General Barry T. Ndiomu (rtd.) – the Substantive Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta region to focus on his herculean tasks in our nation’s fight against crude oil theft to ensure the smooth operations of his eleven-man committee without any distractions from over 30,000 ex-militants, staff, and thousands of stakeholders from across the nine (9) states of the Niger Delta region.”

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