The Rivers State government says it will publish names of people involved in illegal crude oil refining (kpo-fire) activities in the state.
Governor Nyesom Wike who disclosed this yesterday at a meeting with traditional rulers in Port Harcourt, noted that the state government would not allow innocent people of the state to die for others to make money.
The meeting was attended by heads of the security agencies and chairmen of the 23 local government areas of the state.
While urging traditional rulers not to allow illegal refining activities to take place in their domains anymore, Wike told them that those involved in such activities were sabotaging the nation’s economy.
The governor expressed regret that the federal government which controls the oil industry and the security agencies had remained indifferent to the soot pandemic and the damage it is inflicting on the health of residents of the state.
He said: “I should think that the way the federal government intends to fight insurgency is the way they should fight illegal oil bunkering, because it is a sabotage on the national economy, very big sabotage. It affects our revenue.
“If we are supposed to produce two million barrels for example, we are now producing 1.2 million. And in that 1.2 million barrels, it affects Rivers State because we are not producing up to the number we are supposed to produce, and then we can’t get the money to do whatever you want us to do.”
Wike said illegal refining activities constitute environmental hazard capable of causing cancer related illnesses, adding that his primary concern was how to ensure that the health of residents was not endangered.
He traditional rulers not to be less concerned, but mobilise members of their Community Development Committees (CDC) and the leadership of their youth groups to work in synergy to dislodge illegal refiners.
Wike berated the police for being complicit in the act, which he said was why they were not very committed to the fight against it.
The governor also described as embarrassing how officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have continued to be complicit in the act and sabotaging the national economy.