An unauthorized oil connection point has been uncovered in Owaza, Abia State, as part of the federal government’s efforts to address oil theft in the Niger Delta. The discovery was made by a delegation sent by President Bola Tinubu to assess the situation.
According to a statement released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on Sunday via its Twitter account. TheCable reports that Nigeria has been losing an average of $7.2 million monthly due to this illegal connection found in the area.
The delegation, led by Muhammed Badaru, the Minister of Defence, included the service chiefs, and the Ministers of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and (Gas), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri and Mr. Ekperipe Ekpo, respectively. Other members of the delegation included Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, and Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL.
During their visit, the delegation inspected the Trans-Niger Pipeline Right of Way in Owaza, Abia, where numerous dismantled illegal connections were observed.
In addressing the issue, Badaru assured that the federal government would employ necessary strategies to ensure peace in the Niger Delta region. He called on those involved in crude oil theft and economic sabotage to halt their activities.
Kyari emphasized the significant economic impact of clandestine refineries, illegal bunkering operations, and environmental degradation that were observed during the visit. He also stressed that while oil theft involving vessels can be tracked, oil-bearing communities must play an essential role in curbing such criminal activities within their areas.