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PENGASSAN asks govt, security agencies to arrest pipeline vandals

By Silver Nwokoro
11 September 2022   |   4:05 am
Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government and security agencies to stem the haemorrhaging of the country’s economy by arresting pipeline vandals and oil thieves.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government and security agencies to stem the haemorrhaging of the country’s economy by arresting pipeline vandals and oil thieves.

The association made the call at a protest in Lagos with the theme: Chasing oil thieves and vandals out of business.

Producers’ Forum Chairman of PENGASSAN, Ete Oyegbaren, said that if oil theft was not stopped, it would affect many businesses, with many losing their jobs.

In a letter to the Commissioner of Police, PENGASSAN’s Senior Assistant General Secretary, Babatunde Oke, said that the activities of criminals and pipeline vandals lead to serious environmental degradation, air pollution, and other pollution affecting agriculture and the inhabitants of oil-producing and pipeline areas.

“Most International Oil Companies (IOCs) are divesting when there is no new investment in the oil and gas industry due to the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.

The association noted that in the statistics by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigeria lost about $3.2b (about N1.36 trillion) in crude oil theft between January 2021 and February 2022.

This, they said, has affected the production capacity of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the global oil-producing organisation as over 95 per cent of oil production is lost to thieves.

The body stressed that the most excruciating impact is the loss of revenue that could have accrued to the nation’s purse for the improvement of the lives of the masses.

Lagos zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, Eyam Abeng, stressed the need to tackle pipeline vandalisation, noting that oil theft is an organised crime not carried out by mere individuals.

“It is funded, planned, and executed by the high and mighty. The technology to even use in the execution of this pipeline vandalisation is very sophisticated.”

Trade Union Congress (TUC) Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Kazeem Alabi, urged Nigerians to speak up whenever they see any strange movement.