On Saturday, a delegation dispatched by President Bola Tinubu to evaluate the extent of oil theft in the Niger Delta region discovered an unauthorized oil connection. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) issued a statement revealing that the illicit connection, located in Owaza, Abia State, leads to a monthly average loss of $7.2 million for the country.
The NNPCL further highlighted that the covert refineries and the resulting environmental destruction observed by the team contribute significantly to the nation’s economic decline.
Headed by the Minister of Defence, Malam Muhammed Badaru, the delegation comprises prominent members including service chiefs, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), and Mr Ekperipe Ekpo, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas). Also joining the team are Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, and Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd.
The delegation’s visit to Owaza, Abia included an inspection of the Trans-Niger Pipeline’s right of way, revealing a series of dismantled illegal connections. Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, the Commander of “Operation Delta Safe,” security agency personnel, and CEOs of regulatory bodies within the oil and gas sector also formed part of the team.
Expressing commitment to a peaceful Niger Delta, Badaru emphasized the necessity for those responsible to halt crude oil theft and actions that harm the economy.
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