NNPC to test quality of diesel sold illegally

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Following the existence of some illegal bunkers and 12 illegal oil wells in Lagos on Friday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently working on petroleum products’ samples, particularly diesel, collected from the site to test the quality of products sold by these individuals. It is doing this in line with joint efforts with other security agents and the Lagos State Government to investigate and ascertain the perverse activities carried out by those who allegedly engage in this counterfeit business.

The oil wells were said to have been built for the purpose of illegally scooping diesel and selling same to members of the public, while some of the affected landlords built pumping machine and bore holes to perpetrate the crime on a large scale.

The Lagos State Government, in a press statement signed by its Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, obtained by our correspondent, confirmed that it was working with NNPC to evaluate the quality of the substances sold by the suspected criminals.

‘State Government was working with the NNPC for further investigation. Samples of the substance have been taken for immediate investigation in order to determine the true nature of the substance as well as the root cause of this usual occurrence’.

It shut 12 houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan Streets in Ilasamaja area of the state over discovery of shallow oil wells built by landlords to illegally scoop diesel from pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde who confirmed this while briefing newsmen at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the step to shut the wells and cordoned off the area was taken by government to forestall loss of lives and properties as a result of the looming danger.

The State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, while briefing newsmen, confirmed the arrest of three suspects in the operation, adding that a fire tanker has been stationed in the event of any fire incident. He also affirmed their pledge to work with the state owned oil company, NNPC to get to the root of the matter.

“Already, the personnel of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are at the wells to collect samples and test the quality of the diesel.

As investigation progresses, we will track the buyers of the products and also arrest them. Already, we are ferreting information from the suspects arrested, he added.”

More than 10 illegal oil wells have been discovered in houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan streets after the initial discovery and sequel to onsite surveillance by security agents and other government functionaries.

It was also revealed that virtually all houses in the area have water-wells turned into oil wells, from which they ran a well-oiled operation.

It was gathered that the state government had decided to make an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) afterwards, to decide what to do with the diesel found in the wells.