The Dangers of Illegal Bunkering

Oil spills occurring from pipelines belonging to the NNPC and its Joint Ventures Partners, the International Oil Companies, IOCs often


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The Dangers of Illegal Bunkering

Oil spills occurring from pipelines belonging to the NNPC and its Joint Ventures Partners, the International Oil Companies, IOCs often make media headlines with speed.

All manner of experts, especially environmentalists are quick to analyze the implications such spills have on the immediate and surrounding environment. Whether or not, the affected pipelines are sabotaged or caused by long years of usage remains a subject of discourse for another day.

Surprisingly though, while spills from pipelines owned by IOCs receive rave reviews, nothing is said or reported on the activities of indigenous people who embark on illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria, particularly in the coastal region of the Niger Delta.

The illegal bunkerers carry on with their illicit trade, almost with the protection and support of security officials as well as people in the riverine communities.

Dwellers in the coastal communities and its environs often glory in the pecuniary benefit with the perception of ‘taking our share of the National Cake’. They encourage the unconventional method of refining the crude oil without bothering on the overall implications it has on the society.

Attempts by the Federal Government to clean-up Ogoni Spill allegedly caused by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC several years ago has been widely celebrated, but why are people silent on the environmental degredation caused by illegal  bunkering across the coastal communities of the Niger Delta and who will take up the responsibility of these clean-ups, with a view to putting an end to it?

Interestingly and sadly though, not many realize the effect of illegal oil bunkering on every Nigeria. Apart from environmental degredation suffered by the coastal communities, the air which is polluted has no boundary in its flow, while the aquatic lives in the affected creeks find its way into the stomach of Nigerians and even across the West African Sub Region.

Little wonder, cough, Bronchitis, skin irritations, visual challenges and other health issues are becoming prevalent in Nigeria, particularly in the coastal communities of the Niger Delta.

The thrust of this piece is that all Nigerians, particularly key stakeholders should do everything humanly possible to stop illegal oil bunkering due to the danger it poses to our society.

Editor-In-Chief


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