A team led by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Prof. Ibe Kachiukwu yesterday discovered and exposed an expanse of land hidden at Roberts Island, a village off Lagos waters near Atlas Cove, where oil bunkers perforate oil pipelines and steal oil products. At the site, the team discovered equipment used by the oil bunkers to perforate oil pipelines and then store the products in barrels.
The barrels and the instruments utilized for vandalization were all seen covered in the ground. All inhabitants of the town seem to be part culprits and accomplices and had a part in the vandalism as not one of them reported the matter to the police.
Dr. Kachikwu, while addressing newsmen in his reaction to the discovery expressed disappointment;
“I must say that I was very disillusioned at this discovery but much as I was happy that it was found, it just took a lot of wind off my sail as to what next and who knows how many more have not been discovered. At the end of the day, the responsibility for protecting the assets of Nigerians must lie in the hands of Nigerians.
“There is no magic that I have that I am going to be able to deliver zero incident environment, given the number of attacks we are getting everywhere but at the end of the day, communities like these ones must begin to rise up and say this is just not right,” he said.
The act oil oil thievery has been and is still a major challenge to the Nigerian oil sector. It is popularly known as and has been nicknamed “Bunkering” in lay man terms. Just a few days ago, men of the Nigerian Navy were reported to have also uncovered an illegal bunkering site in a ship builders yard at Amango Polo community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.