By James Itodo
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited ( NNPCL) has lamented that vandalism carried out on over 5,000 kilometers of oil pipelines by vandals across the country has become a national calamity.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mele Kyari who stated this during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Downstream), however assured Nigerians that the Nation’s four oil refineries would be made functional very soon.
Problem of oil pipeline vandalism according to him , has been bedeviling the sector over the decades as the company had not been able to pump oil through the pipeline from Warri to Benin within the last 22 years.
” Over 5,000 kilometers oil pipelines in the country are not working. As a result of pipeline vandalism 10 million litres of oil was lost from the volume pumped from Aba to Enugu at a time”.
” The company has been unable to pump oil from Warri to Benin within the last 22 years and cannot connect to Ore.
” There is no amount of security measures that had not been taken to curb the crime without success, which to us in NNPCL, is substantially a national calamity “, he said .
He however said as a way out, the company is embarking on massive replacement of the pipelines which aside being vandalised, are old and obsolete.
He further told the committee that deregulation of the oil sector and in particular subsidy removal carried out in May this year has turned NNPCL into a profitable company.
ccording to him, before deregulation in 2018, the company made a loss of N802billion but after deregulation in 2021, made excess profit of N687billion.
He added that while 67million litres of oil was consumed per day during the era of subsidy regime, an average of 55million litres are being consumed on daily basis now, just as the problem of smuggling the product across the border has become a thing of the past.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah ( APC Anambra South) and all the members, responded separately to submissions made by the NNPCL boss that proper dissection of challenges facing the sector would be better made in a retreat.
But Senator Seriake Dickson ( PDP Bayelsa West ), told the NNPCL boss to look critically into the surveillance security contract the company is operating as regards non inclusion of some oil producing areas.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze