NNPC boss, Kyari Speaks on Nigerians behind crude oil theft
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday said some high placed Nigerians, including religious, community leaders and government officials, are among individuals fully involved in crude oil theft.
He also said the entire network of pipelines for petroleum products distribution in the country had been deliberately shut down as a result of the activities of vandals and also because the refineries were not operating as a business but incurring losses, adding that Nigeria would stop fuel importation in 2023.
The NNPC boss made the disclosure while speaking when he featured at the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House.
Kyari said the authorities of the NNPC borrowed $1billion from AFREXIM Bank to put in place the refineries, adding that the management of the company was confident that it was restoring the company for about 90 per cent efficiency.
He noted further that repayment of the borrowed money was tied to the productivity of the refineries, just as he boasted that NNPC would deliver on the rehabilitation exercise.
While disclosing that the company has discovered that stolen products were warehoused in churches and mosques with the knowledge of all members of the society where the incidents occurred, including the clerics, the NNPC boss said various law enforcement agencies had arrested at least 122 persons involved in the nefarious pipeline vandalism and oil theft from April to August 2022.
According to him, wherever the petroleum products have gone, everybody seems to have become some sort of vandal and that beyond the issue of vandalism, the pipelines had also aged necessitating their shut down.
Kyari noted, however, that the company has decided to come up with a new pipeline management system that would enable them be put to use for distribution of products in the country.