Yemi Kale, former Statistician-General of Nigeria and CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that he doesn’t see the need to declare a state of emergency in the oil sector. Rather technology should be leveraged to solve the problem.
His advice comes against the backdrop of a state of emergency declared by the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the dwindling income from oil activities.
Kale, who now works as a partner and chief economist at KPMG Nigeria, urged the government to instead focus on improving the security situation in areas where crude oil is extracted.
His advice comes as the country loses millions in revenue to oil theft and other acts of criminality carried out by vandals and their conspirators.
Kale gave this advice when he appeared on Arise TV’s The Global Business Report on Monday, throwing more insight on the economic data published by NBS and the recent state of emergency declared in the oil sector by the Federal Government.
He said, “Well, I’m not fully versed with the reasons the government would declare it a state of emergency. I think the reasons why the oil sector has been contracting — we’re very familiar with it — is very little investment in the oil sector for a long time, and the reasons are very clear.
“Most of the world is trying to move it from, well, to start with. Additionally, it’s all theft, vandalism, and different things. I’m not sure; you just fix the security and get it working. I don’t think it’s an oil emergency problem.”
He admitted that dealing with this monster won’t be an easy task, as the thieves have been making billions of dollars from our national oil assets.
He added, “Nevertheless, if you add the fact that we’re very close to the newly, the limit set by OPEC anyway, there’s really not much we can do in terms of further growth in that sector. But yes, fix it; I don’t think it’s that difficult to fix the security issues.”
He also revealed that in the past he had recommended “sensors on the pipelines so that when there’s a bridge, there’s a monitoring station that can dispatch security. Through this, the security agencies can “pinpoint exactly where that’s happening, and this is not expensive.”
He added that one of the ways to eliminate security personnel complacency is to rotate them on a regular basis.
“So before they can even get into the system, a new batch has come in. I mean, there are ways to fix the security issues. I don’t think it’s declaring a state of emergency that makes it work. We don’t need to declare a state of emergency to fix the issue,” he maintained.