Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State said has raised alarm over rising losses due to oil theft and petroleum pipeline vandalism in the country.
Obaseki at the National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday warned that if the loss was not checked Nigeria will lose as much as $2.7 billion by the end of the year.
He said that the sub-committee of NEC which he chaired has recommended to the council the need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of pipelines in the country. The recommendations included prosecution of criminals and the creation of a special court to handle the cases.
He said the committee also recommended that NNPC should endeavour to engage the National Intelligence Agency to track countries benefiting from the stolen crude oil. According to him, the Council resolved that the recommendations should be forwarded to Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari, who is the minister of petroleum.
It was disclosed at the meeting that Nigeria has lost 22.6 million barrels of oil to the activities of petroleum pipeline vandalism and stealing of crude oil in the first six months of this year.
The value of oil already lost is estimated at $1.35 billion (N481.95 billion).
The NEC also seized the opportunity to clarify that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP is different from Ruga and that the sum of N100 billion has been approved for it, adding that the program is voluntary for states.
Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi State briefed state house correspondents on the NLTP after the NEC meeting presided over by vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the council chamber, presidential villa, Abuja.
Umahi said that his committee, NLTP submitted report to the council and proposed N100 billion budget for states that are willing to engage in livestock.
He said that participation by states is voluntary and that the federal government is to contribute 80 percent of the budget while interested states will and the private sector provide 20 percent, land and other logistics. Umahi further disclosed that only Nigerians will be beneficiary of the NLTP.