The federal government has disclosed that an average of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) is lost yearly to the wanton damage to pipelines and a huge amount of N60 billion yearly to repair and maintain the vandalised points.
This is even as the federal government said the destruction of public infrastructure by some unpatriotic Nigerians calls for great concern and immediate action.
Speaking during a Town Hall Meeting yesterday in Abuja on Protecting Oil and Gas Infrastructure, the minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said between January 2019 and September 2020, 1,161 pipeline points across the country were vandalised.
He said, ‘’According to statistics, between January 2019 and September 2020, 1,161 pipeline points across the country were vandalised.
‘’Apart from the impact on the nation’s earnings, consider also the environmental problems caused by the incessant vandalism, in terms of freshwater pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, etc., and you will appreciate the enormity of the problem.’’
The minister said with oil providing 80 per cent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenues and 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings, one can only imagine the impact of the incessant destruction of oil pipelines on the economy.
Mohammed said despite a drastic drop in revenues and competing priorities, especially that of tackling insecurity, the administration has invested heavily in providing new infrastructure, in addition to reconstructing and rehabilitating existing ones.
‘’Today’s town hall meeting on protecting oil and gas infrastructure is very important, considering that the destruction of this infrastructure has socioeconomic and environmental implications.
‘’It is common knowledge that Nigeria has long suffered massive infrastructure deficits due to decades of neglect, population explosion and the absence of maintenance culture.
‘’But since coming into office in 2015, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has embarked on a rapid economic growth with equity, i.e. people-centered economic management as well as prioritizing human capital development through enhanced social services and infrastructure development,’’ he said.
On his part, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, said from January-May NNPC pipeline segments have suffered 203 pipeline breaks with System 2B having 80 pipeline breaks and System 2E, a total of 114 pipeline breaks with a total cumulative loss of 39million litres amounting to N5.973bn
‘Since 2014, an average of about 38 million barrels of crude oil is deferred annually due to incessant pipeline vandalism.
Kyari said in 2020, about $1.538bn of revenue was deferred (37 million barrels) due to 94 incidences
‘’An average of $2.163bn of revenue has been deferred annually since 2014 as a result of incessant pipeline vandalism
‘’Pipeline vandals and criminals gangs operating along system 2B axis have stolen about 307.994 Million Litres of PMS valued at N41.049 billion.
‘’System 2E lost 26Million Litres of PMS valued at N3.468bn due to the activities of vandals in 2019.
‘’From January-December 2020, Losses along system 2B amounted to 146.809 Million litres of PMS valued at N22.487bn. Some notable hotspot areas are Abagbo, Ikate, Akaraba, Ilashe, Imoren, Ijegun, Ikotun, Baruwa, Oke Odo, Warewa and Ilara.
‘’System 2E lost 0.237Million Litres of PMS valued at N36.3million in 2020,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, said using N60 billion for maintenance of pipeline shows that there is a problem in the oil and gas industry.
He said more attention should be placed on not just the militants but those laying the pipes.
‘’So, we must focus on those who lay the pipeline. Those laying the pipes might want to gain from destroying it or blowing it up.
‘’We must reduce the profitability of vandalism. People should be punished and tried openly; the Minister of Information should ensure adequate coverage of those caught in the act to serve as a deterrent to others,’’ he said.
He decried the lack of interest in corporate social responsibility by oil majors.
‘’I see a brighter future in stopping vandalization. By the end of 2021, we may talk about 15 cases or less,’’ he said.
The minister, Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said Nigeria is the most notorious country for oil theft.
He noted that Ogoni clean-up is on-going in the Niger Delta region.
‘’The Ogoni is part of the stream of clean up in the Niger Delta clean up. Women in Niger Delta are also trained in skill acquisition to improve their livelihood,’’ he added.