Oil theft: NNPC boss Kyari alleges threat to life, says Tompolo producing results
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari has alleged a threat to his life over his role in curtailing the theft of oil running into trillions of naira in the country.
Speaking during the legislative transparency and accountability summit held yesterday in Abuja, he contended that such a threat would not dissuade him from embarking on the task of repositioning the oil and gas sector in the country.
The NNPC chief who did not mention those behind the threat to his life justified the decision to engage the oil pipeline surveillance team, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, led by Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo, arguing it was aimed at curtailing the massive theft of oil in the country.
Noting that the surveillance deal is yielding good returns for the country, he maintained that the monies spent to secure the services of Tompolo’s firm are so insignificant quantum of the value of oil stolen in recent times in the country.
He noted: The scale of oil theft that we have seen was not anticipated, not expected, not thought of. The scale is enormous. We have seen pipelines taken from our main trunklines into abandoned platforms in which people come to steal oil.
“We have seen the thousands of illegal refineries that we have taken down in the last 4 -5 months . We have seen up to 295 illegal connections to our pipelines and many of them have been there for years. Companies would top injecting oil if they discover it can’t get to the terminals.
Kyari reiterated NNPC commitment towards the guarantee of energy security adding that as things stands, it is left with no option other than to sustain the subsidy regime to make fuel affordable to Nigerians.
He insisted that NNPC is no longer required to go to FAAC since it is expected to pay taxes, royalties and pay dividends collecting authorities in the country.
Stating that NNPC is on the trajectory of changing systems and processes, he admitted that the NNPC haven’t been able to meet its tax obligation due to the stark realities of the subsidy regime operational in the country.
He added: “Today when PMS comes into this country, you transfer to the marketers at N113 for us to realize N165 at the pump. This is the reality. That means whatever is the cost anything outside that value is subsidy.
” So somebody has to pay for it. There is nowhere today you can land a liter to the pumps even at the N419 exchange rate at least than N400 per liter. It’s not possible. So every difference between N113 and that value is subsidy.
“That means in some instance we have been subsidizing up to N290. And in this regime it is impossible for you to avoid all the wrong things that ate happening -round tripping, cross border smuggling, documents forgery, anywhere tou have arbitrage you have this issue. So for as long as arbitrage is there you would continue to have this challenges.”
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji decried the loss of oil revenues promised to avail the national Assembly relevant data required to assist them in the discharge of their oversight duties.
He disclosed that Nigeria earned $741.74 billion on oil and gas, and N624 billion from solid minerals between 1999 and 2020.