NNPC Seeks EFCC Help in Tackling Crude Oil Theft

March 12, 2024
NNPC EFCC Crude Oil Theft

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help tackle the menace of crude oil theft in the country as the anti-graft agency expands its operations into other economic sectors.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Mele Kyari, made this appeal at an interactive session with the EFCC’s helmsman, Mr Ola Olukoyede, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Monday.

Recall that the EFCC is also clamping down on alleged foreign exchange (FX) speculators believed to be tanking the value of the Naira.

Now, its scope may be extending into oil theft as the state oil company seeks to eradicate corruption from its system and stem crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism

Speaking about the efforts, Mr Kyari contended that going by the volume of oil stolen daily and the brazenness with which the perpetrators operate, crude oil theft was the most humongous and virulent economic crime in Nigeria that must attract the attention of the EFCC.

“As we continue to do our best to deepen transparency and stamp out corruption from the system, there is one big challenge that you will need to help us with, Mr Chairman. That challenge is crude theft. It fits into everything you have said – the people, the asset, the opportunity, and the absence of deterrence.”

“We have deactivated 6,409 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region. Today, we have disconnected up to 4,846 illegal pipes connected to our pipelines, that is out of 5,543 such illegal connection points. That means there are a vast number of such connections that we have not removed.

“These things don’t just happen from the blues. They happen in communities and locations we all know. As we remove one illegal connection, another one comes up. It is sad, Mr. Chairman,” he said.

“This kind of thing does not happen anywhere else in the world. When we say illegal connections, they are not invisible things, they are big pipes that require some level of expertise to be installed. Some of them are of the same size as the trunk line itself. No one would produce crude oil knowing fully well that it is not going to get to the terminal. That is why nobody is putting money into the business. So, you can’t grow production.”

“I believe, personally, that the very purpose of your commission is to curtail economic crimes, and there is no bigger economic crime of this scale anywhere else than what is happening in this area,” the GCEO lamented.

On corruption within the system, Mr Kyari explained that by law, NNPC Limited is required to maintain high ethical standards and has put in place structures and measures to curb discretionary actions that fuel corruption, stressing that most processes in the company have been fully automated to discourage arbitrary actions.

He disclosed that many issues of corruption reported to the public were either not true or recycled from the past.

On his end, Mr Olukoyede expressed satisfaction with NNPC’s commitment to issues of ethics and code of conduct, though he challenged the organisation to ensure that the codes of ethics and regulations are complemented with monitoring and enforcement to enhance deterrence.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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