NNPC bemoans $12bn yearly loss to vandals
ENUGU – Nigeria loses about $12 billion to crude oil theft annually, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, said on Sunday.
Speaking in Enugu, Yakubu warned that unless immediate solution was found to the activities of hoodlums, the nation might be faced with a major oil crisis.
The NNPC boss, who spoke during the NNPC Day at the 24th Enugu International Trade Fair, maintained that the losses were incurred mainly through stolen crude oil and the huge funds spent on clean up of oil spills caused by vandals in the Niger Delta.
The losses also includes expenses incurred on extra security arrangements to protect installations and disruption of local refining operations, he said.
Urging Nigerians to shun acts of sabotage, which, according to him, were capable of threatening the Nigerian economy, he advocated joint effort by stakeholders – federal, state, local governments, communities, traditional rulers and town union leaders, among other.
Yakubu, who was represented by the Executive Director, Operations, Port Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemical Company, Mr. Vitalis Ugochukwu, expressed the support of NNPC to government in its determination to remove the subsidy on petrol.
He said: “NNPC maintains its support to government to deregulate the oil and gas sectors through the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in order to create a level playing field, institute a regime of transparency and accountability, as well as boost investment in critical areas of the sector”.
On the the factors that led to the collapse of Aba and Enugu NNPC depots, Yakubu said this was due to the activities of oil vandals.
He commended Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State for his commitment in making sure that the Aba depot was restored.
He called on Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to work together in finding a way of ensuring that petroleum product pumped to Enugu are secured and not tampered with by vandals.
The President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, ECCIMA, Dr. Theo Okonkwo, in his remarks, said NNPC must strive to make the operations of players in the industry transparent.
“We wish to counsel that appropriate steps should be taken to address the issues raised and remove the cobweb of corruption that has negatively affected the operations of the downstream sector of the oil industry,” he said