Religious leaders in Nigeria have been accused by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, of aiding oil pipeline vandalism.
Kyari said there’s a network of vandals operating against oil companies, as well as the Nigerian government, and the stolen fuels are stored in churches and mosques across the country.
Aside from the religious leaders, the NNPC Limited GCEO said government officials and security agencies are also part of the network vandalising the oil pipelines, with 295 illegal crude oil connections discovered.
He made this known on Monday, during the 49th session of the weekly ministerial briefing at the State House in Abuja, where the NNPC Limited boss also revealed that the government will establish a national reserve company.
According to Kyari, the national reserve company’s responsibility will include the management of the petroleum products for distribution, as the entire network of pipelines distributing petroleum products has been shut down by vandals.
Kyari’s statement comes months after the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed in June that between the first quarter of this year, about N434 billion was lost to oil theft.
Komolafe explained that out of the 1.9 million barrels that Nigeria produces, the crude oil export terminals receive only 1.35 million barrels or 71 percent of the crude oil produced, with the rest lost to theft and pipeline vandalism.
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