Nigeria wants military to help fight crude oil theft

Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission is seeking the help of soldiers to curb the stealing of crude oil in the country.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had said that a few elite Nigerians might be stealing, yearly, about 42.25 million barrels of the commodity worth $3.6bn at the prevailing price of $85 per barrel.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, linked highly-placed Nigerians to the economic sabotage.

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative claimed that the country lost 42.25 million barrels of crude oil to theft in 2019.

But when the Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, visited the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, in Lagos, he said unless the military played key role in the sector, new investments might remain elusive.

Komolafe said invitation of the military was part of NUPRC’s strategic engagement with critical stakeholders.

He reminded his host that his organisation was responsible for the technical, operational and commercial regulation of the upstream sector geared towards optimising the benefits of the nation’s hydrocarbon deposits.

The NUPRC boss noted the critical role of the CDS to the success of upstream investments in the oil and gas industry, while appealing for stakeholders’ collaboration to deal with all security issues affecting the sector.

Irabor, on his part, assured him of the armed forces’ support in the fight against oil thieves.

The CDS added that the military was on top of the situation, as current operational strategies were targeted at addressing the problem.

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