On Saturday, President Bola Tinubu’s oil theft status assessment team in the Niger Delta detected an illicit oil connection.
Nigeria loses an average of 7.2 million dollars a month as a result of the illegal connection uncovered at Owaza in Abia, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. on Sunday.
It went on to say that the team’s discovery of covert refineries, illicit bunkering operations, and environmental damage resulted in substantial economic losses for the country.
The group is led by Malam Mohammed Badaru, Minister of Defence, and includes service leaders and Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil).
Other members are Ekperipe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser, and Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd.
Rear Adm. Olusegun Ferreira, Commander of “Operation Delta Safe,” is also on the team, as are members of security agencies and chief executive officers of oil and gas regulatory agencies.
The team went to the Trans-Niger Pipeline Right of Way in Owaza, Abia, where they discovered a number of demolished illegal connections.
“We are prepared to go to any length to ensure a peaceful Niger-Delta.” Stop stealing crude oil and sabotaging the economy,” Malam Badaru said at the scene.
In his remarks, Kyari stated that while oil theft on ships can be traced, oil-producing communities must play an important role in reducing oil theft within their areas.
“One of the reasons Nigeria cannot meet her OPEC daily production quota is oil theft,” he stated.
Speaking at the scene, Patrick Godwin, Chief Security Officer of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd., said arrests had been made and suspects had been arraigned.
Ribadu praised security agencies, community security contractors, and NNPC Ltd. for ramping up their efforts to combat oil theft and economic sabotage.
“The environment and livelihoods are being destroyed, while the federation is being deprived of revenue capable of strengthening the economy and the Naira,” he stated.