• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Stolen crude oil: FG indicts security operatives, churches, mosques

NNPC deactivates over 5000 illegal refineries linked to pipeline in Niger Delta

The Federal government on Tuesday said crude oil theft has become a widespread phenomenon involving all strata of the society including religious groups, community leaders and government officials, including security agencies.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, on Tuesday disclosed that over 700 barrels are lost per day.

He said the company has discovered that stolen products are warehoused in churches and mosques with the knowledge of all members of the society where the incidents occur.

Speaking at the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, he also said the entire network of pipelines for petroleum products distribution in the country have been shut down as a result of the activities of vandals.

According to him, “Wherever our products have gone to, everybody has become some sort of vandal.”

He said beyond the issue of vandalism, the pipelines have also aged necessitating their shut down.

Kyari noted however that the company has decided to come up with a new pipeline management system that will enable them to be put to use for distribution of products in the country.

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The Federal Government, on Tuesday, said it believes it has taken the right decision to hire private contractors to man its oil pipeline network nationwide.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this to Journalists when he appeared at the 49th Session of the State House Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Kyari argued that although the security agencies are doing their part, end-to-end pipeline surveillance would require the involvement of private entities and community stakeholders.

He said “We need private contractors to man the right of way to these pipelines. So we put up a framework for contractors to come and bid and they were selected through a tender process. And we believe we made the right decision.”

According to earlier reports, one of those selected is a former Nigerian militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Government Ekpemupolo, predominantly referred to as Tompolo.

Fielding further questions on the contract, Kyari explained that although the FG is not dealing directly with the former Warlord, it has signed a contract with a company in which Tompolo has interests.