In the quest to make its investigations more precise through technology, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is to establish a fully- integrated chemical laboratory in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to combat the scourge of illegal oil bunkering in the zone.
Wilson Uwujaren, Head, media and publicity of the Commission, in a statement, Tuesday, April 27, said Aliyu Naibi, a chief detective superintendent, (CDS) and Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the Commission, disclosed this in Port Harcourt while hosting the executives of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, System 2E Eastern Zone who paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday.
Naibi said this would enable EFCC to conduct a direct product analysis. He noted that illegal oil bunkering is rampant in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and the EFCC had been relying on the Department of Petroleum Resources for product analysis in the investigation of such cases. The chemical laboratory would reduce the waiting time for product analysis and improve on the investigation of cases of illegal oil bunkering,
“I want to use this opportunity to inform you of the establishment of a laboratory in the Port Harcourt Zone. With the laboratory in place, the waiting time for report of product analysis will be reduced and the investigation of cases of illegal oil bunkering will gain more speed,” he said.
He reaffirmed that the “EFCC is working tirelessly to provide enabling environment for businesses. We are committed to support the genuine business aspiration of every Nigerian.”
Sunny Nkpe, PERTOAN’s zonal chairman, System 2E Eastern Zone, was delighted with the EFCC’s synergy and support for his association, “especially the intervention of the Commission in ensuring that our members illegally arrested by the Joint Task Force were released”.
He explained that PETROAN was equally concerned about illegal refining, bunkering and adulteration of petroleum products in Rivers State and had taken practical steps to ensure quality control of products.
“If there are issues of product adulteration, we will trace such a product to where it was loaded. Movements of trucks and drivers are now being tracked through our Quality Control Unit”, he said.
He also expressed the support of PETROAN for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery; “if we have local production, foreign exchange fluctuation will be handled”.
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