Oil Theft: Buhari To Launch Network Against Crimes In The GoG

President Muhammadu Buhari, will on Friday, April 28, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, declare open a National Conference on Organised Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

This is coming amid rising cases of crude oil theft and illegal bunkering, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism financing; human, drugs and arms smuggling, unregulated fishing and sea piracy in the GoG.

The President will also flag-off the construction of Centre of Excellence and a 100-Bed Specialist Hospital, among other projects of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), in Ogoniland, on the same date.

The Conference on Organised Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, which is organised by the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, YEAC-Nigeria, in partnership with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime and the Resilience Fund, Austria, will see to the official launching of the Network on Organised Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (NOCINAG).

Speaking on the event, Executive Director of YEAC-Nigeria, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said NOCINAG, which will be a regional platform against organised crimes in the Gulf of Guinea, is expected to enable Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, to be more proactive in the fight against transnational crimes.

In a statement, Fyneface explained that the conference was aimed at facilitating a collaborative local, national and regional solution to the menace of organised crimes in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

The statement added that “the conference is imperative to Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, as it brings together critical national and international stakeholders from the security circle, government agencies, oil companies, policymakers, university circles, members of diplomatic community, private sector, the media, civil society organisations and host communities, among others, to brainstorm on strategic ways of collaborating, supporting and working with governments and security formations in tackling organised crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea for safer societies.

“Apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, some of the critical stakeholders also invited to the conference include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Leut. Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; Commandant General of NSCDC, Ahmed Audi; Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Barry Ndiomu, Rtd.; Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

“Others include, National Security Adviser, HYPREP Project Coordinator, Comptroller General of Customs, Director General of NAPTIP, Managing Directors of multinational oil companies (SPDC, Eni/NAOC, Halliburton, NLNG, TotalEnergies, etc.), Heads of NOA, NDLEA, NDDC, EFCC, NCDMB, DSS, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Correctional Service, NNPC Ltd, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Resources, ECOWAS, Gulf of Guinea Commission, etc.

“Nigeria is one of the countries in the Gulf of Guinea facing challenges associated with organised domestic and transnational crimes. These organised crimes manifest in the form of pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, artisanal refining, illegal bunkering, kidnapping, banditry, insurgency, racketeering, cybercrimes, human trafficking, drugs/arms smuggling; Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in the Gulf of Guinea, sea piracy, other fraudulent activities including illegal logging.”

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