Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State and chairman, Ad-hoc Committee of the National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft, has raised alarm on the increase in pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
Obaseki spoke at a stakeholders meeting held at the NNPC towers during the week. He explained that, the nation lost about 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft between January and June 2019.
His position was contained in a statement issued by Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, last Thursday in Abuja.
The Governor warned that, if nothing was done to curtail the obvious criminal crime, the number of barrels lost each day could double by year end.
The Ad-hoc Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum, emphasised that the threat of oil theft and pipeline vandalism were a threat to the national economy. He therefore called on stakeholders to join forces and work toward eradicating the criminal act.
In attendance at the meeting, were the group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers as well as representatives of the Police, Navy, Army, Civil Defence and the international oil companies and some indigenous operators.