- CDS pledges to galvanize military to protect oil assets
Nigeria is still losing 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily to vandalism, especially from its System 2B Pipeline, Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has revealed.
According to Kyari, though petroleum products theft on the System 2B Pipeline has reduced considerably due to support from the security agencies, the nation was still losing about 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily to theft and vandalism.
“We have two sets of losses, one coming from our products and the other coming from crude oil. In terms of crude losses, it is still going on. On the average, we are losing 200,000 barrels of crude every day,” Kyari said while talking with Nigeria’s newly appointed chief of defence staff (CDS), Lucky Irabor, an Army Major-General, during a meeting with the military chief at the defence headquarters, Abuja.
Meanwhile, the CDS has promised the NNPC to galvanize the military to provide maximum security for the nation’s oil and gas assets.
But the military already has its hands full –grappling with multifarious terrorist insurgency in the North-East –banditry in nearly the rest of Northern Nigeria, spreading with pockets of attacks in the South – pseudo regional militia in the South – and urban crimes to which its personnel have been drafted by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Irabor commended the Nigerian oil giant’s GMD, Kyari, for initiating the engagement. “I am delighted that you made this effort, and I tell you that the Armed Forces of Nigeria will collaborate with you to protect NNPC’s assets,” he said.
He acknowledged the important role the oil and gas sector plays to the Nigerian economy. “There was need for collaboration between the NNPC and the Armed Forces to protect oil and gas facilities which are critical national assets.
“It is my intention to cooperate maximally with you and to give necessary instructions to all officers in the Armed Forces given that our existence, economically rests almost solely on the NNPC, and to that extent, we must do everything possible to give you everything that you require,” the CDS stated.
Nigeria, although posing since 2014 as Africa’s largest economy by nominal GDP, is clumsily heavily dependent on oil-commodity, with crude oil accounting for majority of the government revenue. The economy caught cold from the Covid-19 knock-on effects on the global oil sector, which led to huge loses, and it has since been gasping for breath, and plunged into two recessions within five years.
However, some analysts are of the view that, with the recent announcement by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of a 0.11 per cent quarter four 2020 uptick in the country’s GDP, the nation may be said to be theoretically out of recession, though not economic recovery.
For the NNPC GMD, the protection of NNPC’s operational and personnel by security agencies should be increased.