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Churches, Mosques Involved In Pipeline Vandalism, Oil Theft, Says NNPC

By Adedayo Said

Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, says churches, mosques, security agencies as well as host communities are involved in crude oil theft.

Kyari said this during a press briefing at the state house on Tuesday. 

He said the shutting down of some of the national oil company’s pipelines was deliberate due to the challenge of incurring a loss on the assets. 

“As you may also be aware because of the very unfortunate acts of vandals along our major pipelines from Atlas Cove all the to Ibadan, and all others connecting all the 37 depots that we have across the country. You know, none of them can take delivery of products today,” he said. 

“And the reason is very simple. For some of the lines, for instance, from Warri to Benin, we haven’t operated that line for 15 years. Every molecule of product that we put get lost. And of course, you remember the sad incident of fire incident very close to Warri, close to Sapele that killed so many people. 

“So, we had to shut it down and as we speak, ladies and gentlemen, the level of losses that we have on our product pipeline, and I’m sure you may have seen it and I’ll invite you at the right time so we can take a look at it jointly. 

“You remember that Lagos area. When a fire outbreak happened in one of our pipelines, we discovered that some of the pipelines were actually connected to individuals’ homes. And not only that, and with all sensitivity to our religious beliefs, you know, some of the pipelines and some of the products that we found, are actually in churches and mosques.

“That means that everybody is involved. There is no way you will take products, bring in trucks in populated neighbourhoods, load them and leave without everybody else knowing about it. That everybody includes members of the community, members of the religious leaders and also and most likely government officials of all natures, including security agencies personnel. 

“They are everywhere. And I’ve seen this even in the Niger Delta. There’s no way you would deliver a volume and lose up to 30 percent and you will continue to put those products in this line.”

In the first quarter of 2022, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said the country lost at least $1 billion due to oil theft and illegal artisanal refining.

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