Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has said that illegal refineries in Nigeria thrive because of certain malfeasances in the society.
Speaking while declaring open an investigative hearing of the ad hoc committee on the Joint Task Force and Nigeria Agip Company in the Niger Delta, Dogara said illegal refineries are spill-overs of the militancy in the Niger Delta region allegedly due to joblessness, poverty and hunger.
He said such illegal refineries could not be allowed to operate in Nigeria because their operators stole crude oil meant for the country and degraded the environment with their activities.
“Illegal oil refineries in Nigeria thrive on illegal oil bunkering, stolen crude oil, and vandalism of oil pipelines and other installations. Without a doubt, these illegal oil operations are reprehensible and should not be condoned for a number of reasons.
“Firstly, it is improper for citizens to destroy oil installations in their bid to steal crude oil as feedstock for illegal refineries. Secondly, it is most inappropriate for anybody, Nigerians or foreigners, to steal crude oil belonging to the Nigerian State with impunity. Thirdly, there are serious environmental issues involved, regardless of whether they dump the residue from the crude oil distillation process, into the river or simply incinerate it,” he said.