Nigeria lost $1.35billion in first half of 2019 to oil installation vandals- Obaseki

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki says vandals were ripping Nigeria off and causing huge revenue losses following a report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to his committee, which indicated a loss of 22.6 million barrels of crude oil valued at approximately $1.35 billion in the first half of 2019

Obaseki who chairs a 13-man Adhoc-Committee was giving an impact assessment report of vandalism on oil installations, especially in the Niger Delta region at Thursday’s National Executive Council meeting.

According to Obaseki, if the situation is not contained in two years Nigeria would have lost in excess of $2.7 billion.

He broke down the losses as follows, the Nembe creek trunk-line lost 9.2 million barrel, the Trans-Niger pipeline lost 8.6 million barrel, the Trans-Focadoes Pipeline lost 3.9 million barrel, Trans-Escravos pipe we lost 877,000 barrel.

The adhoc-committee also reported that the governance structure of the pipeline is such today that no one is held accountable whenever there are bridges and when these losses occur.

The Edo state governor also explained that the slow and inadequate prosecution of vandals, despite numerous arrest and seizures continue to encourage this menace.

He said the absence of petroleum products filling stations in most of the oil producing communities around the Niger Delta make them resort to illegal bunkering and illegal refineries.

He equally noted that huge internal and external market of stolen products exist across the west coast of Africa and also the sub-region.

The Committee which as constituted to address the impact of vandalization, oil theft, illegal bunkering on oil production, was saddled with the task of restoring and sustaining the four major trunk pipelines which moves crude oil to the terminals, to access the challenges and draw up a road map to guide further actions towards finding a lasting solution towards the problem.

Among recommendations the committee came up with was a need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of oil pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of crude and other products.

“There should be a legal framework that will ensure that criminals are duly prosecuted, imprisoned and their assets confiscated. There should be special courts to try offenders and have a special legal task force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as trained special judges to handle cases of oil theft.

“The NNPC is expected to encourage and engage with the national intelligence agency (NIA) to identify the markets for stolen petroleum products across the continent.

“While governors of the oil producing states should set up actions to develop the communities that are most prone and through which these pipelines run with their 13 percent derivation allocation as well as implement programmes that will be impactful and make life easy for the people. It noted that the NDDC in the Niger Delta Development Corporation which has the mandate to undertake development in this region should be restructured to perform its role better,” he stated.

 

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