The Federal Government is seeking collaboration with oil suppliers to end unwholesome practices and sanitise the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.

Consequently, the ministries of Power, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment, Environment, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other key agencies are to partner with the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) to curb illegal activities in the sector.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of NOGASA executive, representative of Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason, insisted that there was need to work together to resolve challenges in the country’s oil and gas supply chain.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and Minister of the Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, supported the move, saying the collaboration, if properly harnessed, would reduce pipeline vandalism, bunkering, oil theft, illegal refineries, mitigate environmental degradation and sanitise the industry.

Akpatason, who commended the association for the initiative, said the country should focus on investors and private sector initiatives that would add value to the nation’s energy sector, adding: “We need to add value to the country’s oil and gas industry.”He argued that it was not possible for government alone to handle all the issues in the sector, stressing that private players should be encouraged to bring in their resources and expertise to boost the oil and gas industry, especially the downstream sector.

Fashola, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Abdulsalamatu Abdulkadir, said the Federal Government would strengthen ties with the association to ensure that challenges of oil and gas supplies were thoroughly addressed.

Speaking, Nigige, who was represented by Mary Ike, urged stakeholders in the sector, particularly employers to adhere to labour laws and report illegal practices for prompt action.

Also speaking at the event, Jibril, who was also represented by Matthew Akingbelu, said it was important for the group to partner with government in the area of environmental degradation, particularly in the Niger Delta region.

National President of the association, Bennett Okorie, pointed out that oil suppliers who patronise illegal activities should desist, stressing that such practices kill business.He said the group would create an enabling business environment for all genuine players in the sector.

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