By Akanimo Sampson
Nigeria suffered a major oil revenue loss of about N270 billion which approximates to $750 million to oil theft and pipeline vandals in 2019, going by the disclosure of the country’s national oil corporation.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, in a statement by the acting spokesman for the national oil corporation, Samson Makoji, in Abuja on Tuesday claimed that the country lost about $750 million to oil theft.
Kyari, however, brought this to public knowledge when members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) visited the NNPC Towers.
The disturbed NNPC big boss decried the growing activities of oil thieves and pirates, saying they are a major threat to the operations of the oil corporation.
Kyari who was speaking on the topic: Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; Issues, Challenges for International Trade, National Security and Sustainable Development of Member States, said that any threat to the corporation’s operations was a direct threat to the very survival of Nigeria as a nation.
This, according to him, was because of the strategic role of the oil corporation as an enabler of the economy, and equally listed other security challenges facing the corporation to include vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and kidnapping of personnel.
Continuing, he said, there is a deep connection between the various shades of insecurity challenges as they were all linked to what is happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.
While calling for a concerted effort and synergy to secure oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country, the NNPC big boss reassured that in spite of the increase in demand for fossil oil would still remain relevant.
“Even by 2050, fossil fuel would account for 80 per cent of the energy mix, and there would still be consumption of at least, 100 million barrels of oil per day. We are determined to remain relevant in the long term,” he said.
The NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Yemi Adetunji, in his presentation said in 2016, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of 62 cases worldwide.
He pointed out that the corporation was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, and cited the “Operation Kurombe” that was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.
Also speaking, Dr. Ayodele Adeleke, the Executive Director of the National Institute of Security Studies, called for synergy among the security agencies to tackle the security challenges not only in the Gulf of Guinea but in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry generally.
Meanwhile, the visiting team was drawn from 18 agencies within and outside Nigeria.