NNPC has accused Churches and Mosques of keeping stolen crude oil products.
Newsonline reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has accused some churches and mosques of harbouring stolen petroleum products with some of the pipelines connected to the homes of some individuals.
This was made known by the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mele Kyari, while speaking during the 49th session of the weekly State House ministerial briefing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, maintaining that crude oil theft has become widespread and involves different people in the society.
Kyari stated that wherever the stolen product is found mostly in churches and mosques, there has been a network of vandals working in collaboration.
What the Group Managing Director of NNPC is saying
Kyari, during the press briefing, said, “When a fire outbreak happened in one of our pipelines, we discovered that some of the pipelines were actually connected to individuals’ homes. And not only that, and with all sensitivity to our religious beliefs, you know, some of the pipelines and some of the products that we found, are actually in churches and in mosques.
“That means that everybody is involved. There is no way you will take products, bring them in trucks in populated neighborhoods, load them, and leave without everybody else knowing about it. Everybody includes members of the community, members of the religious leaders and also and most likely government officials of all natures, including security agencies personnel.
“They are everywhere. And I’ve seen this even in the Niger Delta. There’s no way you would deliver a volume and lose up to 30% and you will continue to put those products in this line.”
Pipelines for petroleum products shut down
The NNPC boss said that due to the illegal diversion of these pipelines to these unauthorised places, activities of vandals and theft of these products, the entire network of pipelines for petroleum products distribution in the country has been shut down, as a result of the activities of vandals.
Kyari also announced that a national reserve company will be established to manage the pipelines on a commercial basis to efficiently put them to use for the distribution of products across the country.
He revealed that crude oil theft which has resulted in the discovery of 295 illegal connections making it difficult for oil companies to operate efficiently, has been very difficult to manage but they are not helpless.
He guaranteed that fully embracing the gas infrastructure will resolve the nation’s energy poverty.
What you should know
- Activities of saboteurs and crude oil thieves have become the bane of the oil industry in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, making it impossible for the country to meet up with its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s quota in recent years.
- Nigeria has been experiencing some of the worst crude oil theft in its history with millions of dollars lost daily. There have been several allegations of complicity levelled against security agencies following the increasing incidents of crude oil theft.
- The Federal Government had revealed that Nigeria lost about $1 billion in revenue to pipeline vandals and oil thieves in the first quarter of 2022.
- Oil theft which can also be referred to as illegal bunkering, and not a new menace in the oil and gas industry, has become quite brazen and risen to an alarming level, with some oil companies disclosing that they lose between 80% and 95% of their crude oil production to the activities of these oil thieves