The group managing director and chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has accused the government and security officials of collaborating with oil thieves to steal Nigeria’s crude oil.
This is as the NNPC boss also revealed that those involved in crude oil theft now use technology to lay pipelines that no one can see.
This was made known by Kyari while speaking on a pre-recorded Channels Television programme, Newsnight, where he said the collaboration within the system has aided crude oil theft for a while, noting that the extent of such collaboration is unknown to the authorities.
Use of technology: Kyari said,
- “When you introduce technology into stealing, and this is precisely what they did, and when there is a collaboration of people who should not be part of those activities, you can lay pipelines and no one will see it.
- “You can do it at night if you have the ability, and ultimately this is what we think happened. You can lay pipelines for the wrong reasons to assets that may have been abandoned or even active, assets which are not meant for such purposes. That means you will see end-to-end collaboration either by people who are around those assets, people operating the assets, people supposed to provide security for these assets, and so on.
- “And you can eliminate anything. When you find collaborators in the system, then you can get anything done. We didn’t know because the extent of collaboration is unknown to us, and essentially what this intervention process brought to the table is that knowledge that we didn’t know before.”
For the record: Crude oil theft has become a very thorny issue in Nigeria for several years with unimaginable volumes of oil being lifted by some cabal in the oil industry, with serious consequences on the country’s economy.
Recall that earlier in October, the NNPC announced that it had uncovered an illegal 4-kilometre pipeline connected from Forcados Terminal and operated for 9 years with about 600,000 barrels per day of oil lost in the same period.
Similarly, a former militant leader, Government Ekpemepulo, popularly known as Tompolo, said about 58 illegal oil points have been discovered so far since the operation to end oil theft on the waterways of Delta and Bayelsa states began.
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