Abuja — NIGERIA has earmarked US$1 billion for the implementation of a comprehensive programme to check crude oil theft, vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure as well as the apprehension and prosecution of crude oil thieves.
This was contained in a statement issued by President Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
According to Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed the comprehensive programme to check crude oil theft at separate meetings with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte and the Chief Executive Officer of Shell International, Ben van Beurden.
According to the President, the comprehensive programme would include further action to enhance the security of pipelines and other oil industry infrastructure, resolve community-related issues, boost youth empowerment in oil-producing areas and enhance the commitment of oil companies to the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities.
President Jonathan added that the fresh onslaught against oil theft planned by his administration would require the maximum co-operation of the international community, especially countries like the Netherlands which are major stakeholders in the global oil industry.
“Oil theft is an aspect of global terrorism, which has become a big industry on its own. It has become a major threat to the Nigerian economy and we need to work with all stakeholders to curb it.
"The thieves must be traced, apprehended and prosecuted,” Jonathan is quoted as saying.
The President's visit is expected to strengthen ties between Nigeria and The Netherlands.
“The President's visit is an open testimony of the strong ties between Nigeria and Netherlands.
"Nigeria is Netherlands' main trading partner in Africa and the Netherlands is the second biggest European investor in Nigeria,” Abati stated.