Naval Headquarters, Abuja has debunk a publication in a National Daily of 4 December 2022 with the heading, ‘NNPC Not Sincere about Oil Theft, Exaggerating Figures-Navy’. In a statement signed by the Direction of Information Nigerian Navy Commodore Ayo Vaughan. He said the allegation of insincerity and exaggeration by NNPCL as captured by the journalist of the Daily is not therefore a fair wording of the actual discourse that transpired because what was said and what was meant was inaccurately captured particularly in the wording of the heading of the report.
“The said statement was purportedly made at an interactive hearing before the Senate Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes during which the relevant agencies implementing the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 briefed the Committee at the National Assembly.” The report indicated that the Chairman of the committee, demanded explanations on why the country continued to experience cases of oil theft if the waterways were secured. The distinguished Senator had queried that, “the oil theft issue has been a very worrisome one to every Nigerian and more importantly, it has negatively impacted our economy.
How come the Navy hasn’t been able to solve the issue of oil theft and if the Navy is claiming that the waterways are secured, why are there still cases of oil theft?” Equally, it was mentioned that another Senator noted that at an oversight function, the NNPCL said crude pipelines were being tapped from the pressure pipe under sea and crude oil was usually transferred from there into vessels, and this had been happening for nine years. He reportedly asked, “Is the Navy aware or not of the taping going on under the sea?”
The questions were all responded to and in the course of responding, it was explained that the challenge is due to the criminal activity inshore by the illegal local refiners in tapping into the export lines many of which have not been in operation since early this year, 2022 resulting in opportunity lost. Also, the major terminals have not been able to process crude for export since around February/March and this inability to process as export is reported as stolen oil since it is practically impossible to steal and move 100,000 barrels per day out of the creeks.