The House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating crude oil theft has insisted on the appearance of the group chief executive officers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC), the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) before the committee.
Rep Alhassan Rurum, the chairman of the probe panel, gave the ruling in Abuja, adding that the heads of the agencies must appear in person and not send representatives.
Mr Rurum said the heads of all the invited agencies must appear in person on September 11 while frowning at a situation where the heads were invited and did not appear but sent their directors as representatives.
He said most of the invited CEOs wrote to the committee, asking for permission to be represented by their subordinate as they were not disposed to appear in person and honour the committee’s invitation.
He said the committee had the power to invite and cause the appearance of any individual government officials, including corporate entities, charged with the responsibility of administration of public funds.
At the hearing, the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Authority (NUPRA) said pipelines and flow stations were the major targets of oil thieves.
They blamed faulty metering procedures, faulty instruments and lack of technology as impediments in the efforts of agencies of the Federal Government to tackle oil theft.
Mr Rurum, however, said that the invited CEOs of the agencies should come with a list of all other agencies working in the export terminal of all the nation’s oil sector.