NNPC Calls For Special Court For Oil Theft Cases

..As It Shares New Photos And Videos On How Nigeria’s Crude Oil Assets Are Vandalized And Products Stolen

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, has shown the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, in photos and videos, how the country’s crude oil assets are being vandalized and the products stolen.

Sharing the materials, Mr Kyari urged the Federal law makers to establish a special court that would handle cases relating to oil and gas to accelerate prosecution of oil thieves.

He noted that Such cases would be speedily dealt with through such special court and that would be surprising that the offenders might not just be the ordinary, but some reputable individuals.

The GMD of the NNPC, who described oil theft and illegal refining as an elitist business, told the committee that few persons were responsible for the economic sabotage.

Mr kyari pointed out that it is not the business of the ordinary people who are seen in the illegal refineries, to sell crude oil in the international market.

“Clearly, they are a few people. It is not beyond us and I am very confident that the leadership being given by the Chief of Defence Staff alongside the service chiefs and others, will probably in another one to two months, bring some sanity. We are also working on sustainability, not just recovery but to have a sustainable framework,” Kyari said.

The NNPC boss added, “It is not a helpless situation; yes, it is a very daunting situation, no doubt.”

He recalled that President, Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Leo Irabor, to “lead a war to contain the situation and bring it to the barest minimum.

He said, “So much is going on, needless to say, it is not for this platform to bring out the details. But I can share with you; there is a massive activity going on now by the government’s security agencies in collaboration with the industry-the NNPC and two regulatory institutions, and of course, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Department of State Services. Other agencies like NIMASA are also involved. They are all aligned, working together to contain this situation. And we are seeing clear results.

“Yes, we have not gotten back to production but clearly today, activities that are going on promise that within the next one to two months we will restore some level of normalcy. As we sit, there are a number of arrests made both by the Department of State Services of high calibre oil thieves and the JTF, even by the Nigerian Navy in the last two weeks. And many more arrests are taking place, many of these illegal refineries are being taken down and insertions are being constantly removed.

“We believe that these interventions, without speaking much of the details on these, will pay off and we will be able to restore production to normalcy. And this is centrally coordinated; I will not speak about the details but I can share with you that there is a coordinated action now that will clearly pay off because we are using a number of strategies, including involvement of community-based security outfits.”

According to the NNPC boss, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit have also been mobilised to track funds linked to illegal oil businesses.

Mr. Kyari also blamed the recent spike in the pump price of Automotive Gas Oil for the invasion of the market by illegal refiners.

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