The Federal Government says it has developed a roadmap to end crude oil theft in the country.
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo and the Chairman, Crude Oil Theft and Management Committee of the National Economic Council (NEC), said this when he briefed newsmen shortly after a closed-door meeting with some governors in Abuja on Wednesday.
Uzodimma said that the committee was constituted in 2023 by Vice-President Kashim Shettima following growing concern over crude oil theft.
“This has reduced our oil production status drastically and has caused untold hardship to the country and almost tampering with the margin of our currency.
“Today, we met since the first meeting after the reconstitution to develop a work plan that will be used by the committee to be able to confront this case of crude oil theft headlong.
“We just developed a road map, an action plan that we will take. At this stage of preliminaries, we are trying to identify, really, the areas of leakages and the likely causes and what have made it possible.
“Our concern is to restore Nigeria’s oil production profile to either better what it used to be or at least, where it was, which is about two million barrels,” he said.
Uzodimma added: “We are committed not to disappoint the expectations of the national economic council.
“It is my hope that going by our deliberation, that we will be able to make the difference as our own contribution toward national development.”
BRANDPOWER reports that other governors at the meeting included Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta; Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River, Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo; Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe; and the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
Crude Oil Theft
Meanwhile, NNPC Limited says no fewer than 157 incidents of oil theft were recorded in the Niger Delta between December 30, 2023 and January 5, 2024.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited said the cases were recorded from several incidence sources like Nigeria Agip Oil, 62; Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, 29; Maton Engineering Limited, 18; Tantita Security Services Limited, 8; NNPCL Command and Control Centre, 2; Shell Petroleum Development Company, 4; and government security agencies, 34.
In the period under review, NNPCL said “17 suspects were arrested” in connection with the incident.
“For NNPCL, there is no backing down against crude oil theft except the menace is eradicated for good,”.