Mallam Mele Kyari, Chairman of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has said Nigeria is losing about N788.5bn ($1.9 billion) monthly to the activities of oil vandals, with its attendant effect on environmental degradation.
This is even as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Timipre Sylva, said that the country loses 400,000 barrels of crude daily via oil theft.
Kyari made the disclosure when a Federal Government delegation on anti-oil theft led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva visited Okowa on Monday, August 8, 2022 at Government House, Asaba.
According to him, “as a country, we hardly meet our OPEC production quantum of 1.99 million barrels per day with our current production level of 1.4 million barrels per day which is currently being threatened by the activities of these economic saboteurs.
“This has done extensive damage to the environment and losing $1.9 billion every month is colossal, considering the nature of the global economy at the moment,” he disclosed.
Kyari restated that the team needed the support and buy-in of the Delta Government “because stopping this oil theft requires the concerted efforts of the federal, state governments, oil companies and security agencies”.
Governor Okowa had told the delegation that reviewing oil surveillance contracts based on the performance of the contractors and engagement of host communities would ensure effectiveness in securing the nation’s oil and gas assets.
He admitted that the challenge of oil theft was huge, given the level it had assumed, but expressed happiness with the steps being taken by the authorities to curb the menace.
“I am glad that we are discussing this hydra-headed issue which impacts directly on our economy and the environment.
“It impacts on the health of the people and sustainability of the environment and I am glad that we are taking some steps because there are so many issues that led us to this.
“We went through situations where gaps were created between host communities and oil companies, and unfortunately criminality set in.
“It has gone so bad but we are doing our best as a state. I am also glad about this collaboration,” he said and stressed the pertinence of a review of surveillance contracts of the oil facilities to ensure community involvement.
According to Headlinenews.news investigate reports, Sylva said this on Monday, when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo at the Government House, Owerri.
He described the development as a “national emergency”. He regretted that the nation had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels, due to crude theft.
He warned that such a huge economic loss was capable of crippling the nation’s economy, if not given the seriousness it deserved.
He expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the Federal and State Governments to arrest it.
Sylva said the problem of crude theft could not be handled in Abuja alone.
“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.
“This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.
“As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.
“And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.
“This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.
The minister, therefore, appealed to the stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problem.