• Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: August 08, 2022

Oil Theft Costs Nigeria 400,000 Barrels Per Day, Says Sylva

Dr. Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has announced that the nation loses 400,000 barrels of crude oil every day due to oil theft.

Sylva made the statement on Monday when paying Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo a courtesy visit at the Government House in Owerri.

He called the situation a "national emergency" and regretted that due to crude theft, the country has fallen short of the OPEC daily quota, from 1.8 million to 1.4 million barrels.

He cautioned that if not treated seriously, such a significant economic loss may cripple the country's economy.

He expressed worry that the threat has persisted despite efforts to get it stopped by the federal and state governments.

According to Sylva, Abuja cannot solve the crude theft issue on its own.

“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.

“This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.

“As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.

“And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.

“This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.

Therefore, the minister urged the interested parties to work together to find a solution.

He praised the governor for his efforts to maintain Imo's security and prevent the collapse of the economy.

Gen. Lucky Irabor, who was in the entourage, commended Uzodimma in a statement for aiding the Armed Forces in their battle against the rising crime in the South-East oil-producing regions.

To "be active in the fight against oil theft to a respectable degree and leave the rest to the army," Irabor urged the State Government, stakeholders, and communities.

He gave the governor his word that the Army was prepared to receive additional support in the struggle against banditry and other types of criminal activity in the state and throughout the nation.

The governor responded by assuring the audience that his administration would continue to work to stop the economic sabotage being committed by pipeline vandals.

The consequences of simple theft, according to him, are "extremely disturbing and too much to be accepted."

According to him, the issue not only caused the government's oil revenue to decline, but it also resulted in environmental degradation and other health risks for the host towns.

He therefore called for cooperation among the stakeholders, including the Federal and State Governments, NNPC and host communities to effectively fight the scourge.

Uzodinman commended NNPC for the 200-bed capacity hospital the company was building at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu.

He appealed to the company to speed up the project to ensure its completion in record time.

The meeting was part of the nationwide intervention efforts to curb crude oil theft.

The Minister of State for Education, Gooduck Opiah, and Mele Kyari, Group MD/CEO of NNPC Limited, were also present.

A variety of traditional leaders and other representatives from the state's oil-producing areas were present at the gathering.

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Lawrence Agbo
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