NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Mr. Andrew Yakubu
By Chineme Okafor
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will work with the recently inaugurated Federal Government’s inter-agency maritime operation committee to checkmate incessant bunkering and theft of crude oil in the country.
Following President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive and inauguration of the committee to initiate measures that will bring an end to illegal crude oil business in the country, the NNPC in expression of its determination to collaborate with other government agencies to achieve same, stated that as an indispensable player in maritime business, it must rise to the occasion in such a time as this.
According to a statement from the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the Corporation, Fidel Pepple, Sunday in Abuja, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu was quoted to have said this when the inter-agency maritime operation committee paid him a courtesy call in his office.
Yakubu noted that NNPC as a corporate entity takes part in the maritime business both locally and internationally must rise-up to the occasion along with other government agencies to confront and bring to book unscrupulous individuals that have deprived and depleted the nation’s economy as a result of their illegal maritime business.
He said: “The maritime industry significantly impacts on our industry and we really do appreciate efforts of Mr. President to address particularly issues that border on crude oil theft. We are ready to support the various initiatives of the Federal Government so as to stem the embarrassing trend of illegal bunkering in the maritime industry.”
According to him: “We know the impact of bunkering and crude oil theft on our economy and our environment. These are vices that we must collectively stamp out of our nation. We cannot claim that we are helpless.”
Recall that the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu had earlier this year warned that revenue due to the government from the country’s oil resources will dwindle further in the wake of increased crude theft in the Niger Delta region.
Sunmonu, who at that time disclosed that Nigeria was losing so much revenue to crude oil theft, stated that an average of $5 billion then was been lost by the country annually on oil theft.
He warned that if left unchecked, the government will receive less of revenue from oil business in the country.
But in his condemnation of activities of crude oil criminals, Yakubu decried the daily loss of several thousands of barrels of crude oil to illegal bunkering, adding that blocking of such leakages would go a long way in improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
Also in the statement, the Chairman of the inter-agency maritime operation committee, Rear Admiral E. O. Ogboh, said the committee was established a month ago to address the issue of illegal bunkering in the nation’s maritime waters.
Members of the inter-agency maritime operation committee are drawn from the NNPC, Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Customs, Police, SSS and the judiciary.