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FG To Kickstart Awareness Against Illegal Oil Bunkering



The Federal Government has announced plans to kickstart a nationwide campaign against illegal oil bunkering.

This was made known by Ms Nneka Anibeze, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq on Friday when a Federal Government delegation visited Imo to commiserate with the government on the recent explosion in the state.

Recall that there was an explosion at a forest in the Abaezi community in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo on April 23 and it claimed many lives including property.

The minister was represented by Mr Alhassan Nuhu, the Director, Reliefs and Rehabilitation in the National Emergency Management Agency.

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She urged traditional rulers, religious heads and community leaders to advocate against illicit bunkering of oil in their communities while also pledging that the government will do its part by creating awareness on the consequences of illegal crude oil refining among the locals.

“Our visit today is to condole with the good people of Imo and also access the extent of the disaster to ascertain the volume of relief to be provided for the victims for the purpose of assisting them to build back better.

“We shall provide the necessary disaster risk information and assessments as well as implement risk strategies to create awareness on the consequences of illegal crude oil refining to the local communities.

“I implore community leaders, traditional and religious leaders, women and youth groups to join hands with NEMA to serve as watchdogs and continuously advocate the safe use of refinery facilities in their communities.”

Umar-Farouq said this was to protect lives, property and the environment, adding that it was obvious that disaster risk management was first a local and collective endeavour before it became national.

“We also call on security agencies to collaborate with the regulatory bodies in the oil and gas sector to nip this ugly trend in the bud.’’


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