The national economic council (NEC) says the nation lost 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft between January and June 2019.
Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state and chairman of the council’s ad-hoc committee on crude oil theft made this known on Thursday at a stakeholders meeting that held at the NNPC Towers.
According to a statement issued by Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Obaseki said the figure could double by the end of the year if nothing is done to curtail the ugly trend.
The governor called on stakeholders to join forces and work toward eradicating the menace of crude oil theft adding that oil theft and pipeline vandalism is a threat to the national economy,.
In its monthly financial and operations report for June, NNPC revealed that there has been a 77% rise in cases of oil pipeline vandalism across its network of pipeline infrastructure.
According to the report, 106 pipeline points were breached, representing an alarming increase from the 60 points vandalised in May 2019.
The meeting had in attendance Mele Kyari, NNPC’s group managing director, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers.
Also in attendance were representatives of the police, navy, army, civil defence, international oil companies (IOCs) and some indigenous operators