The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged the federal government to treat oil thieves as terrorists by applying stiff measures to deter others.
He said oil theft threatens the survival of the country.
Mr Gbajabiamila made the call on Tuesday while delivering his welcome remarks at the resumption of plenary.
The House had proceeded on a two-month recess in July.
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Mr Gbajabiamila said the existing arrangement to prevent theft has not worked, hence, the government must consider means to curb the menace of oil theft.
He said the “972,394 bpd for August is the lowest we have recorded in the last two decades.”
He added: “The perpetrators of this brazen heist threaten our ability to serve the Nigerian people and meet the demands of governance and nation-building. Their actions constitute treason against our country, for which they must be held accountable.
“There are mechanisms in place to prevent these sorts of bad actors, and the government spends significant amounts of money each year to protect oil and gas resources in the country. Evidently, these existing arrangements do not suffice.”
Mr Gbajabiamila also spoke on the recent drug bust made by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at Ikorodu in Lagos.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that NDLEA busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where over N194 billion worth of cocaine was seized.
The speaker said every lawmaker must join the fight against drugs to free the country from the cancer of drug trade.
He stated that narcotics are one of the “many factors contributing to insecurity in our country.”
He further stated that “we cannot afford to have our country overrun by the cancer of the drug trade and the devastation it brings. Therefore, all of us, both in our official and personal capacities, must become soldiers in the war on drugs.”
Speaks on balancing campaigns, legislative duties
Mr Gbajabiamila reminded his colleagues of their mandate as lawmakers and the upcoming campaign activities. He noted that even though campaign is essential, lawmakers still have legislative duties.
“Honourable Colleagues, in a few days, the campaign for the 2023 general elections will officially commence. Already, activities towards the campaigns are in high gear with consultations and outreach by candidates and incumbents across the country. This is normal, and it is expected.
“However, those of us who hold office must endeavour to deliver on the mandate we hold for the duration of our term. So, we must strike a balance as we campaign, because we have a four-year mandate,” he said.
According to INEC, campaigns for 2023 elections are to officially commence on 28 September.
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