The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has regretted the incessant cases of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He lamented loss of about 22m barrels of crude in the first six months of this year, estimated at $1.35bn.
The governor made his feelings on this known when he received a delegation of the National Executive Committee of the Pan Niger-Delta Forum, which was in the Government House, Benin City, on a courtesy visit.
Obaseki wondered how such a volume of crude oil could be stolen to the detriment of the development of Niger-delta.
This happens in spite of the high presence of security personnel in the Niger Delta region.
“What is really worrisome for me, having chaired the NEC committee on stolen crude oil, is the extent of militarisation.
About 22m barrels of crude not accounted for in the first-half of this year with estimated cost of almost $1.35bn.”
He said some people claimed to have spent a lot of money in the last decade to develop the region but there was nothing to show for it.
The governor said, “There is a need to use the region’s assets for economic growth. It is to prevent people of the Niger Delta from being shortchanged and its resources used as slush funds.”