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NNPCL laments vandalisation of over 5,000km of oil pipelines as tanker drivers suspend strike

Malam Mele Kyari, Group CEO of NNPC Limited

*Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, discloses the oil vandals and thieves have destroyed over 5,000 kilometers of product pipelines connecting different parts of Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In view of the relatively high prices of petroleum products across the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has opened up on the continuous vandalisation of the oil pipelines causing a huge loss to the state oil company.

ConsumerConnect reports Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of NNPC Limited, stated this Tuesday, November 21, 2023, during his appearance before the Nigerian Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), in Abuja, FCT.

Kyari noted that oil thieves had vandalised over 5,000 kilometers of oil pipelines connecting different parts of the country.

It is equally noted that a reported high rate of pipeline vandalisation across Nigeria  has culminated in the contamination of the environment, including rivers and destruction of many farmlands over time.

The GCEO of NNPC Limited also told the Senate Committee, that the Company had adopted several measures to secure its pipelines from being vandalised, but the oil theft and pipeline vandalisation have persisted.

According Kyari, the continuous vandalisation of the pipelines is causing a huge loss to the NNPCL.

The NNPCL Chief Executive described the situation as a “national calamity”.

He further explained: “Over 5,000 kilometers of oil pipelines in the country are not working as a result of pipeline vandalism.

“Ten million litres of oil was lost from volume pumped from Aba to Enugu at a time.

“The company has been unable to pump oil from Warri to Benin within the last 22 years and cannot connect to Ore (in Ondo State).”

He further revealed that “there is no amount of security measures that had not been taken to curb the crime without success, which to us in NNPCL, is substantially a national calamity.”

Proactive measures taken to limit the damage to oil infrastructure, by Kyari

Kyari, however, to the Senators the NNPCL had started replacing the vandalised pipelines in different parts of the country.

In his reaction to the development in the sector, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, Chairman of the Senate Committee, urged the NNPCL to find a lasting solution to the issues of pipeline vandalism and oil thefts.

Ubah urged the Company to ramp up security measures around its pipelines.

Commenting on the security situation in the downstream petroleum industry, Sen. Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa West), a member of the Committee, also urged the NNPCL to engage the locals in the security surveillance of the oil pipelines in Nigeria.

The Federal lawmaker advised the state oil company to award contract to the locals, especially in oil producing areas as a way of negotiating the security of pipelines.

Dickson further stated: “Some local governments in Bayelsa State, like Sagbama where I come from, are not covered by the contract with attendant consequences.”

Tanker drivers suspend national strike

In a related development, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) has restated the association’s resolve to negotiate with the Federal Government on issues instead of embarking on industrial action.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Lucky Osesua, National Chairman of PTD, stated this at media briefing held Wednesday, November 22, in connection with the crisis rocking the association through its parent-union, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

Osesua said: “Remember that one of our mantras is not to in any way work against the progressive and seamless policies of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, or be an attack dog to the Federal Government.”

According to him, despite the arrest of the top executive members of the PTD, the association had resolved to toe the line of peace, and not strike, on issues concerning its members.

Some members of the PTD, an affiliate of NUPENG, recently kicked against the decision of the union to purportedly jettison the laid-down guidelines governing smooth elections in order to impose leaders on them.

Osesua also explained: “My executive and I, assure you that we are free and granted bail by the respectable court of records, and we shall continue to keep to the terms of the bail and shall prove our innocence in no distant time.”

Additional reporting by Gbenga Kayode.

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