‘Vandalisation of over 5000km oil pipeline national calamity’ – NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has described the vandalisation of over 5,000 kilometres of oil pipelines in the country as a national calamity.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mele Kyari, who spoke during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), however, assured Nigerians that the nation’s four oil refineries would be functional very soon.

The problem of oil pipeline vandalism, according to him, has been bedevilling the sector over the decades, as the company has not been able to pump oil through pipelines from Warri to Benin within the last 22 years.

“Over 5,000 kilometres of oil pipelines in the country are not working. As a result of pipeline vandalism, 10 million litres of oil were 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.

“There is no amount of security measures that have not been taken to curb the crime without success, which, to us in NNPCL, is substantially a national calamity,” Kyari stressed.

He, however, said that as a way out, the company is embarking on a massive replacement of the pipelines, which, aside from being vandalised, are old and obsolete.

The NNPCL boss explained further to the committee that the deregulation of the oil sector and in particular, subsidy removal carried out in May this year, has turned the company into a profitable one.

According to him, before deregulation in 2018, the company made a loss of N802 billion but after deregulation in 2021, it made an excess profit of N687 billion.

He added that while 67 million litres of oil were consumed per day during the era of the subsidy regime, an average of 55 million litres are being consumed on a daily basis now, just as the problem of smuggling the product across the border has become a thing of the past.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (APC, Anambra South), and all the members responded separately to submissions made by the NNPCL boss that a proper dissection of the challenges facing the sector would be better made in a retreat.

But Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP Bayelsa West) told Kyari to look critically into the surveillance security contract the company is operating with regard to the non-inclusion of some oil-producing areas.

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

(Daily Post)

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