Expert decries rising cases of oil theft, pipeline vandalism
Written by on April 4, 2022
An Oil and gas expert, Mr Olabode Sowunmi has called for a reorientation of the people on the economic and intergenerational implications of oil theft and vandalism to the country’s economy.
Sowunmi made the call while speaking virtually at the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch’s (CeFTIW) weekly engagement which sought to interrogate oil theft and sundry challenges in the nation’s oil and gas sector.
He was responding to a recent report by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) which disclosed that the nation lost 3.27 billion dollars worth of oil to vandalism and oil theft in the past 14 months.
He said that the nation’s oil sector was in a transitory stage which required the cooperation of all stakeholders to maximise the industry’s value chain.
Sowunmi, who noted that oil and gas accounts for close to 90 per cent of the nation’s forex earnings, described oil theft as ‘economic sabotage and a treasonable offence’ giving its long term implication.
He said that oil theft, like illegal drugs and diamonds, were global issues, but called on authorities to expedite actions so it did not get to a stage where the soul of the nation’s economy would be deeply affected.
He enjoined the government to explore technology options so as to safeguard the nation’s oil infrastructures.