We must control our resources – Alamieyeseigha
Thursday, May 1, 2014
BY HENRY UMORU
ABUJA – FORMER Governor of Bayelsa State and a delegate at the National Conference, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, has berated those calling for the reduction of the 13 per cent derivation to five per cent, declaring that he would not give up fighting for resource control until the Niger Delta region begins to controls its resources.
He said: “I put on the toga of resource control and I will never waver until we control our resources and determine what we want to do with it and pay appropriate tax to the central government. I, for one, do see peace in this country.
Our environment is destroyed. There is a new trend now that Nigerians do not know; it is the prevalence of cancer among our women. People are dying. The effects of oil exploration are so much and heavy on our people. ”
They are sharing money; they are not thinking of what we are going through back there. Oil is a wasting asset. If we destroy our land then we cannot even feed ourselves.”
Asked what must be put in place to address the raging cases of oil theft in Nigeria, Alamieyeseigha, a member of Committee on Public Finance and Revenue, who urged the government to write to foreign embassies that are engaged in oil exploration in the country, however, said that the Air Force rather than Navy should take total control of monitoring and checking oil bunkering.
His words: “The way forward to me is very simple. We have identified the problem; it is because of the value change. Nigerian oil outside is very lucrative when refined.
“There is also the banking system. When you make money, it is through the banks that you get the money back into the country, so they are also involved.
“The people that are in the industry have the technical know-how to get this crude oil from very high pressure pipes. The boys in the creek do not have the connections to bring ships from abroad, so in effect, we have buyers. If we don’t have buyers then the market would be saturated and it will not be profitable.
“So, how do we stop buyers of our crude oil that is so unique in the international market? You have to be very courageous and be ready to pay any price because they will try to bring your government down because it is huge amount of money they are making.
“So if you have the courage, the first step you should take is to inform the cartel through their embassies because ships are registered in their country and their destinations are also known. The type of business they do is also known, the routes they ply are also known.
“So what are they coming to do in our exclusive economic zone, especially in the Niger Delta?”
The former governor, who also accused the expatriates of being responsible for the proliferation of weapons in the country, especially from Ukraine, said: “They are the ones bringing weapons into the country, especially ships from places like Ukraine. They take the crude oil and pay in weapons.
“We know all these and the information is available. So, the Federal Government should write the embassies operating in Nigeria, saying, ‘Look, this is our problem; inform your home government not to release their ships for these nefarious activities.’
“Give them time, they have been doing it for so many years, give them time say three months, after three months if we see any of your ships in unauthorised areas, we are going to destroy it.”
“By the time you destroy three or four vessels, no country would allow its vessel to come and operate.
“So there will be no buyer and once there is no buyer, the collaborators among us would look for another job because the industry has been made unattractive.
“It is a simple way of discouraging bunkering.”