Despite concerted efforts to curb oil theft in the county, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Malam Nuhu Ribadu has revealed that the country is still losing 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
The NSA made this known on Saturday when he led a Joint Presidential Committee on Crude Oil Theft on a facility tour of the Niger Delta.
He expressed concern that oil theft and pipeline vandalism have negatively impacted the nation’s economy and are partly responsible for the high cost of living in the country.
“It’s unfortunate that few individuals would steal our common resources, and in the process cause unbelievable loss to both the nation, communities and the people.
“Nigeria has the capacity to produce 2 million barrels of crude daily, but we are currently producing less than 1.6 million barrels due to theft and vandalism of pipelines.
“So, we are talking about 400,000 barrels of crude oil going to waste with few criminals and economic saboteurs not even getting much out of it,” he said.
In the same vein, Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, faulted the Federal Government’s ceding of contracts for security/surveillance of oil pipelines in the hands of an individual or a few persons, asserting that the development would not help the fight against oil theft.
The Governor further stressed that until FG clamps down on the powerful Abuja cartel bankrolling oil theft, no amount of effort would end the economic sabotage associated with the crime.
He said, “Security of pipelines should not be placed in the hands of one man or a few individuals. You can’t say for instance that somebody from Kalabari should be asked to determine and control what is happening in Ogba-Egbema.
“It’s not possible, not workable. Or somebody from Ogba-Egbema should take charge in Ogoni. You can understand there is no way it would work. You need to come down to bring on board all these host communities heads or leaders.
“Those people you are dealing with, you can engage on this other end, but those key leaders and influential power brokers in other major host communities must be engaged. Once you are able to do that, make them part of the process, no two ways about it. The tide of the economic sabotage through oil theft will go down.”