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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: March 14, 2024

Crude oil theft: HURIWA calls for robust civil society support

Crude oil theft: HURIWA calls for robust civil society suppo

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a prominent civil rights advocacy group, has become a voice of clarity in the ongoing fight against the scourge of crude oil theft in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. 

HURIWA has mobilised civil rights organisations and non-governmental organisations to stand in solidarity with Mele Kyari, the esteemed Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

In a time when organised crime syndicates' nefarious activities threaten to undermine the very basis of Nigeria's economic stability, HURIWA emphasised the need for a united front against this persistent threat as a call to action. 

According to Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, there have been an astounding 9,000 infractions on oil pipelines in a single year, demonstrating the enormity of the challenge and the need for a coordinated response from all spheres of society.

HURiWA advocates that “The recent disclosure by Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, revealing a staggering 9,000 infractions on oil pipelines within a single year, underscores the critical urgency for all members of the civil society in Nigeria to actively unite and offer unwavering support and solidarity. 

"Our collective efforts are imperative to swiftly combat the scourge of crude oil theft and ensure its swift defeat.

“The visionary leadership of Mele Kyari and the NNPCL management, in their relentless pursuit of counter-crude oil theft strategies, has garnered commendation. 

"However, the depth and breadth of the crisis necessitate a broader coalition, drawing from the moral authority and constitutional mandate vested in the Nigerian citizenry."

HURIWA stressed that their call for widespread civil society support, national unity, and cooperation with the NNPCL in the fight against crude oil theft is deeply ingrained in constitutional values. 

Their call to action was based on Section 14 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria's Constitution, which requires citizens to actively uphold good governance norms.

HURIWA quoted thus, “Mele Kyari, speaking during an oversight function at the NNPC headquarters, revealed the extent of the challenge, with 6,465 illegal refineries deactivated and nearly 5,000 illegal pipeline connections removed. 

"He acknowledged the daunting nature of the task, noting that despite efforts, the scale of infractions remains staggering, often escalating immediately after intervention.

“Kyari stressed the centrality of security in addressing pipeline vandalism, underscoring NNPC's collaboration with all security agencies and private security firms. 

"Despite operational challenges, he affirmed the corporation's capacity to exceed two million barrels per day but lamented the impact of crude oil theft on production targets, citing a drop to 1.1 million barrels per day in 2022.

“In conclusion, Kyari reiterated the urgent need for decisive action to avert further decline in production, attributing the shortfall primarily to crude theft. 

"He underscored the interconnectedness of this issue with broader challenges facing the industry, emphasizing the imperative for concerted efforts to curb illicit activities and safeguard Nigeria's oil resources."

HURIWA responded to the crisis by praising Mele Kyari's steadfast determination and patriotic zeal in taking on this multi-headed monster of crude oil theft. Additionally, the group disclosed that it is currently in the process of working with a range of stakeholders from the non-governmental and civil society sectors to create a nationwide network of Civil Rights Bodies in Support of Fighting Crude Oil Thefts.

“This collaborative endeavour seeks to harness the collective wisdom and resources of credible civil rights leaders, fostering a unified front against the scourge of crude oil theft. Through multifaceted dialogues and strategic advocacy initiatives, HURIWA aims to galvanize widespread support for the NNPCL's endeavours, ensuring the realization of holistic objectives in the battle against this pernicious threat.

“In the face of adversity, unity becomes our greatest strength. Let us stand together, resolute in our commitment to safeguarding Nigeria's resources and upholding the principles of justice, equity, and prosperity for all,” HURIWA stressed.

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