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  • News - South South - Bayelsa
  • Updated: May 12, 2024

Nigerian army discovers 50 illegal refining sites in Bayelsa forest

Nigerian army discovers 50 illegal refining sites in Bayelsa

At least 50 illicit refining facilities have been found by the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe in the Biseni forest of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

Newsmen were told by the operation's commander, Rear Adm. John Okeke, that illicit processing of stolen crude oil was occurring at each location.

According to Okeke, the crew found a sizable hole big enough to hold ten trucks' worth of alternative petrol oil, or diesel.

"They distribute to their illegal refining sites from this large pit," he shared.

He recalled that the joint task force had often issued advisories on illicit oil enterprises in the region and reaffirmed its determination to combat the threat.

"We haven't stopped warning, and we won't back down. We're not going to give up; we're going to keep working and finding them wherever they may be.

"These 50 illegal refining sites in Biseni, Bayelsa, were discovered by our team after moving from Ahoada-West in Rivers," he stated.

He added that illicit crude oil refining and oil theft have grown to be major causes of concern for the area and urged everyone to constantly provide the task force with reliable information so that it could locate illicit oil refiners.

”We can’t do it alone, we need the support of the public. You can’t imagine that such activities will be ongoing in this thick forest except with reliable intelligence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister, Mohammed Badaru has stressed Nigeria's zero-tolerance stance towards crude oil theft and illegal refining, labelling them as grave offences in the country.

“Such crimes will not be tolerated in any form and at any time or level, and this extends to other natural resources across the nation,” Badaru said.

The minister spoke in Abuja during the 13th national security seminar organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College.

“The armed forces of Nigeria are working with relevant agencies to ensure that all forms of economic sabotage are promptly tackled,” he added.

The minister explained that section 16 of the constitution gives the government the right to harness the nation’s resources and use them to promote national prosperity.

Badaru assured that the government would protect all resources and national assets and utilise them for the economic growth and development of the country.

Speaking about the seminar, the minister assured that President Bola Tinubu would implement the recommendations.

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