The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, on Sunday, said the country loses an average of $7.2 million monthly from illegal oil connections.
The state-owned oil firm made this known after discovering an illegal connection in Owaza community, Abia state.
According to the video uploaded by the NNPC on its Twitter (X) account, the illegal connection was discovered on Saturday by the oil theft situation assessment delegation deployed in the Niger Delta by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Also, the team visited the Trans-Niger Pipeline Right of Way in Owaza, Abia, where an array of dismantled illegal connections were observed.
Speaking at the site, Mele Kyari, Group CEO of the NNPC, said clandestine refineries, illegal bunkering operations, and environmental devastation the team saw collectively translated into severe economic losses for the nation.
The Group CEO said while oil theft in vessels could be tracked, oil-bearing communities must play a vital role in curbing the criminal acts within their communities.
“Oil theft is one of the reasons why Nigeria cannot meet her OPEC daily production quota.”
The NNPC, on its energy and You TV programme, said 20 illegal pipeline connections were discovered in the past week, and 45 illegal refineries were destroyed in the Niger Delta.
It said between August 12 and 18, 2023, 116 incidents were recorded across the Niger Delta.
“The war on crude oil theft is on,” the NNPC said. “Industry stakeholders and security collaboration is yielding remarkable results.”
Muhammed Badaru, the minister of defence, said that the government is ready to do whatever it takes for a peaceful Niger Delta. Cease and desist from crude oil theft and economic sabotage.
Meanwhile, Nuhu Ribadu, the national security adviser, applauded the security agencies, community security contractors, and the NNPC for stepping up the fight against oil theft and economic sabotage.
“The environment and livelihoods are being destroyed while the federation is deprived of revenue capable of shoring up the economy and strengthening the Naira.” he said.