Illegal Crude Oil Export: Nigeria lost $1.5bn in 3 months to oil theft, vandalism – Kyari

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC Limited, Dr. Mele Kyari, has asked the House of Representatives to create special courts for speedy trials of crude oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

He made the appeal on Thursday, during an interactive session with the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), where he blamed the drop in Nigeria’s daily crude production on the activities of thieves and vandals, stressing how they have gone too sophisticated.

According to the GMD, the country lost over $1.5 billion worth of crude oil to theft between January and March 2022, amounting to a loss of about 250,000 barrels per day, adding that the special court became necessary to try those behind illegal refineries,

He said that the forces behind the situation were elites. “We must have a special court to try those behind this business, this is an elite business, it is not done by poor people”, he stated.

Kyari said thieves and vandals have rendered some of NNPC Limited’s terminals useless, it was forced to shut them down due to zero production. “Some of the activities are done in a very professional manner. It is a daunting situation, but we’re contending with it”, he said.

He explained that some arrests have been made, involving “high calibre oil thieves”, but expressed worries over the slow-speed prosecution at the regular courts.

On the recent hike in the price of diesel, the GMD said it was a result of the coordinated efforts of security forces, which succeeded in seizing the product coming through illegal refineries, but that intervention of the NNPC has paid off, assuring that the price will normalise in the coming weeks.

The Hon. Sarki Adar-led committee however insisted that it was time a state of emergency was declared in conveying crude oil, stressing that there must be a monitoring mechanism for those pipelines.

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