By Victor Graham
The Bayelsa State Government has set up a Special Oil and Gas Task Force in a bid to curb the menace of pipeline vandalization and illegal oil bunkering activities in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Oil and Gas, Hon. Frank Otele said the inauguration of the committee became necessary following the steady decline in the state and national revenue.
Hon. Otele while inaugurating the state and local government coordinators, said it is in line with the prosperity administration’s agenda of zero tolerance for pipeline vandalization and illegal oil bunkering activities.
“The committee is charged with the duty of checkmating pipeline vandalization and illegal bunkering activities in the state, which accounts for the declining Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
“It also adversely affects aquatic lives and farmlands as well as other environmental pollution. If these illegal bunkering activities are put to a permanent stop, the state’s oil production rate would increase which would as well increase the IGR of the state”.
He admonished the task force not to compromise their mandate as they set out to discharge their duties, noting that it is for the benefit of every Bayelsan.
Responding on behalf of the taskforce, the Secretary, Mr Gabriel Warton, thanked the Special Adviser for giving them the opportunity to serve and promised that they would discharge their duties without fear or favour.
He warned those involved in illegal bunkering to desist, as it is no longer going to be business as usual, stressing that the taskforce will not rest until it cleans the state of such nefarious activities.