Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva says oil theft now a national emergency

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said that the country loses 400,000 barrels of crude daily via oil theft.

he also lamented that the problem of crude oil theft has reached a level of national emergency” and that “the situation cannot be handled in Abuja alone.”

Sylva said this on Monday, when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo at the Government House, Owerri.

He also expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the Federal and State Governments to arrest it.

The Minister said:  “It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and has reached a very bad crescendo. This is because the thefts are taking place in the Communities that host the oil pipelines and as a result, it has become necessary to involve the Stakeholders, especially the host Communities.

“And because of the height and the orchestrated nature of oil theft Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that are bound in the gas production because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure.”

He therefore canvassed the need to come together, and collaborate to solve the problem “and avoid the problem killing us as a Country.” He added: “And to achieve the above there is the need to involve the State Government and the people at the grassroot.”

Sylva stated that oil theft is a “National emergency”, adding that Nigeria “had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels, due to crude theft and also expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the Federal and State Governments to arrest it.

“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.

“This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.

As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.

“And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.

“This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.

He urged stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problem and commended the governor for his efforts to ensure that Imo remains safe and the economy did not shut down.a




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