Carter also expressed deep fears that if the trend is not addressed appropriately, the impact it will have on the economy would be colossal.
The high commissioner stated this during an interview with Our Source in Lagos yesterday. He cautioned the federal government on the steps being taken, saying full measures have become imperative now to wrestle the criminals.
“Those who steal the Nigeria oil are criminals and their activities are not in the economic interest of the country and her people,” he bluntly declared.
He also said pipeline vandalism occasioned by militant activities in addition to other forms of illegal acts on oil facilities have led to unquantifiable damage to the environment.
Carter, who perhaps was speaking on the strength of the country’s dependency on oil, warned that except drastic approach is taken with the concerted effort of all stakeholders, the oil thieves will continue to hold the nation to ransom.
He observed that the loss coming from oil theft is enormous and may create shock on the economy which is on the path of recovery.
The British envoy also maintained that without a legislative infrastructure and effective government policy in place, achieving real change in economic models as well as public and private behaviour would be significantly difficult.
He called for attitudinal change among the people but emphasised on the need for government to provide adequate fund mechanism to address dearth of infrastructure needed to prop the economy.
He added that the British government had shown keen interest in the country’s energy sector.
He said, “We are also engaged in discussions with the Lagos State commissioner for energy and minerals in particular on renewable energy such as solar to power street lamps, energy from waste and hydro-power.”