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I’m not bothered by oil thieves’ threat to my life, says NNPCL GMD

I’m not bothered by oil thieves’ threat to my life, says NNPCL GMD

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has said oil thieves have been planning to kill him.

He said the discovery of about 295 illegal connections to oil pipelines has resulted in death threats to him.

Kyari was silent on who made the threats and said nothing about reporting the matter to security agencies.

He dismissed the threats as a non-issue because “every human being will die someday”.

Kyari said NNPCL destroyed thousands of illegal refineries in the last few months.

A connection to the main pipeline carrying crude to the terminal for export was also discovered, he added.

Kyari said the battle against oil thieves was yielding results as daily production has risen to about 1.4million barrels per day.

Equally, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the anti-graft agency was investigating the crude oil theft.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), said Nigeria was losing about 60 per cent of its revenue to bad agreements.

The trio spoke at a one-day Legislative Transparency and Accountability Summit organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption.

Kyari, however, said not all the 700,000 barrels of crude lost daily was stolen.

According to him, some oil companies sometimes refuse to pump crude into the export line when they discover that such crude does not get to the export terminal.

He said NNPCL engaged private security firms to police the pipelines in collaboration with other security agencies.

“We didn’t know that this (oil theft) was happening. The scale is enormous, Kyari said.

“We have seen pipelines taken from our main trunk lines to abandoned platforms. We have thousands of illegal refineries that we have taken down in the past few months.

“We have seen over 295 illegal connections to our pipelines. Many of them have been there for years.

“You have a situation where your production came down to 1.1 million barrels from 1.8 million, but the truth is that not all of them are stolen. Let me clear the misconception that the remaining balance is stolen.

“Companies will stop injecting oil into the pipeline the moment they discover it can’t get to the terminal.

“Therefore, at the peak of production, you lose over 200,000 barrels per day.

“But once companies discover that their products won’t get to the terminal, they will terminate it.”

The NPPCL GMD said the company has restored two of its trunk lines, following the discoveries.

“We were left with no choice but to involve private security contractors and it worked. They are complementing our security agencies and they have done great work.

“I have received several death threats to myself. This is the cost of change.

“When people walk away from things they are used to, to something new, something that will take away value and benefit from them, they will react.

“That reaction is beneficial to us for all of us that will work together to make sure that this works,” he said.

Kyari, who said NNPCL was open to an audit, blamed the lack of remittances to the Federation Account on the subsidy regime.

“We are inviting it (an audit) so that Nigerians will know what we are doing.

“It’s not possible for you to buy fuel at N165 when your actual cost is far from the value.

“We need to understand what this subsidy means. When PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) comes into this country, we transfer to the marketers at N113 for us to realise N165 at the port.

“That means whatever is the cost, anything after that value is a subsidy. So someone has to pay for it. Every difference between 113 and that value is the subsidy.

“Some developed countries are taking out taxes on PMS. That’s another name for subsidy. No matter how they try to put it, it’s a subsidy.

“These common conversations you’re seeing in the media that NNPCL has not gone to FAAC (Federation Account Allocation Committee) since January are a misplaced expectation because our value should go to the tax authority.

“Therefore, Nigerians must get used to seeing NNPCL off those transactions; we are not able to meet our fiscal obligation of tax reality because of the subsidy regime,” the NNPCL GMD said.

 

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