Uche Usim, Abuja
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Thursday lamented that 22 million barrels of crude oil is stolen every six months, translating to a yearly loss 44 million barrels. Obaseki, who doubles as the Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee of the National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft, Prevention and Control, has called on stakeholders to square us against crude thieves that seem to have upped their game in recent times.
The Governor made the call at a meeting of stakeholders which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
Obaseki who painted a worrisome picture of the oil theft menace informed that in the first six months of 2019, the nation lost about 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft, stressing that if nothing was done to curtail the ugly trend, the figure could double by the end of the year.
He added the twin menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism were beginning to pose a threat to the national economy.
The meeting had in attendance the group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam mele Kyari, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States. Also in attendance were representatives of the Police, Navy, Army, Civil Defense and the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and some indigenous operators.
The NNPC management was excited that the menace of oil theft and its twin-evil of pipeline vandalism are receiving attention at the highest level of governance in the country.
In its June 2019 NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) released recently, the corporation announced a staggering 77 percent rise in the cases of oil pipeline vandalism across its network of pipeline infrastructure.
According to the report, 106 pipeline points were breached, representing an alarming increase from the 60 points vandalized in May 2019.