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Imo Gov, Uzodimma Challenges Special Investigations Panel To End Oil Theft In Nigeria

Gov. Hope Uzodinma 
The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has challenged members of the Special Investigations Panel on Oil theft/losses in Nigeria to be courageous in finding ways of ending oil theft in the country.
The Governor, who described the place of crude oil in the economy of Nigeria as ‘’the brain of the country,’’ wondered why the life wire of Nigeria should be left in the hands of few individuals to “open the body and remove the brain.”
The Governor spoke when he received in audience, the Chairman and members of the Special Investigation Panel on Oil Theft/ Losses in Nigeria, on a courtesy visit to him at the Government House Owerri. The Panel members were led by the Chairman,  retired Major General Barry T. Ndiomu.
Governor Uzodimma commended the wisdom of the Federal Government in setting up the Panel for the purpose of “reducing the dangerous crime of oil thieves who are determined to cripple the economy of the Nation.”
He said that the Nigerian Governor’s Forum and other well-meaning persons had long suggested that a special committee be set-up to unravel the crude oil theft in Nigeria and expressed happiness that the body has eventually been established.
He expressed joy that in recent times, the crude oil production level has increased and expressed confidence over the calibre of members of the committee who he described as “men and women of impeccable pedigree.”
He charged them to “find the courage to do the work and expose the thieves and even prosecute them.”
Governor  Uzodimma said that two factors have contributed to the successes of oil theft in the country – internal and external security.
Internally, the said, the security appears compromised, not properly mobilized and equipped to fight the malady, while externally, the security needs to be properly coordinated or synergised.
He told the Panel that in Imo State, his administration is doing its best, in conjunction with the security agencies, to check oil theft, and that “the result is that now things are getting better than the situation we met in 2020 when we assumed office.”
To achieve better result in taming oil theft in the country, Governor Uzodimma  recommended that the fight must involve the local communities/vigilantes, the State and Federal Government security agencies.
He assured the Panel of his administration’s support to salvage the Nigerian economy and improve the overall well-being of the people, expressing confidence that members of the panel will do the job assigned to them creditably despite the enormous responsibility that comes with it.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Panel had said that they were in Imo State to engage and have frank discussion with the Governor on finding lasting solution to oil theft in Nigeria, knowing that Imo State is one of the oil producing States badly affected by the menace of oil theft/losses.
He assured the Governor that going by the seriousness attached to the Committee’s work, the final submission of its report will count and in a very short while the problem will be solved.
Ndiomu said that they came to tap from the technological know-how of the Governor which, he said, they hope to apply in their investigation to unravel the problem of pipeline vandalism.
On behalf of the panel, he requested for the Governor’s support as they work to stop oil theft for the benefit of the Nigerian economy and people.
The Chairman said that his Panel will not be afraid to identify and expose those involved in the dastardly act and promised to work with the Imo State Government to, not only identify, but prosecute the culprits.
He assured that members of the Panel are working towards submitting their report by the end of February 2023.
Deputy Governor of Imo State,  Professor Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the State Government,  Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie,  members of the Imo State Expanded Executive Council and the Service Chiefs in Imo State attended the event.

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