July 22, 2024

Oil theft: Group writes Tinubu over NNPCL’s false alarm

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Oil theft: Group writes Tinubu over NNPCL's false alarm

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

A Niger Delta group, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has written to President Bola Tinubu over the recent false outburst by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the Group Managing Director, Mr. Mele Kyari over their alleged false claims of rising cases of illegal pipeline connections and illegal refineries in the region.

According to the group, the claims of the NNPCL and Mr. Mele Kyari is not consistent with what is on ground in the Niger Delta region and is a false battle cry meant to deceive and distract President Bola Tinubu and the Nigerian public.

NNPCL and the Group Managing Director, had in a press statement claimed to have uncovered 38 illegal pipeline connections and 108 illegal refineries between June 22 and June 28.

They also claimed that the war on crude oil theft is in full swing, and that the NNPCL’s collaborations with security agencies continue to record remarkable progress.

MSDND in a statement on Thursday accused the NNPCL and Kyari of being desperate to hoodwink President Tinubu and Nigerians with non-existent facts and pure lies which tag the millions of persons in the Niger Delta region as thieves.

Publicity Secretary, of MSDND Kelvin Orughoe, in the statement argued that the deceitful outburst by the NNPCL is from an old play book that has been used to deceive Nigerians every year during the past eight years by the same NNPCL.

He said they used the same fraudulent scheme to deceive former President Muhammadu Buhari into agreeing to the non-remittance of billions of dollars from crude oil sales into Federal Government coffers for over seven months.

According to the group, “We are writing to President Bola Tinubu not to be deceived by the false battle cry by the NNPCL using non-existence numbers of illegal refineries and the so-called massive oil theft activities in the creeks of the Niger Delta.

“These NNPCL acclaimed sites of 38 illegal pipeline connections and 108 illegal refineries do not exist in the creeks of the Niger Delta region.

“President Tinubu should take a second look at the numbers presented by the NNPCL and Mr. Mele Kyari because these are falsified numbers that don’t exist. If these numbers of illegal bunkering and illegal refining sites exist, how then do the people in the Niger Delta region breath?

“Instead of presenting false figures, Mele Kyari and his cohorts in the NNPCL should tell Nigerians the truth about where the real leakages of Nigeria’s crude oil exist.”

The group challenged the NNPCL and its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mele Kyari to provide President Bola Tinubu and Nigerians with the details of the $1.9 billion dollars monthly loss claim made in Asaba, Delta State in 2021 during a meeting with former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

“Instead, they have resorted to the old tricks in their playbook to deceive Nigerians and not make returns to the Federal Government.

“Mr. Mele Kyari and the NNPCL are inconsistent with their facts. They twist facts at their whim and caprices. Recent OPEC data exposes that Nigeria crude oil production has dipped to 1.25 million barrels per day including Condensate. But when you remove Condensate, then the nation’s crude oil production is about one million barrels per day, down from two million barrels per day when Mr. Mele Kyari was appointed as NNPC GMD. Why is it that it was when Mele Kyari was appointed NNPC GMD that our nation’s crude oil production started going down drastically, given the fact that these are the most peaceful periods in the Niger Delta region?

“Now, we are in 2024, they are still using the same distortion of facts and their old play book. They know where the leakages are coming from. How can they just wake up, after the spirited efforts of the Nigerian Navy, other security agencies and other partners to present such disgraceful data? How can the Nation’s crude suddenly drop from its rising height to a disgraceful 1 million barrels per day?” he said.

The group also noted that the NNPCL and Mr. Mele Kyari should be investigated over the $1.2 billion dollars loan procured in 2021 to revamp the Port Harcourt refinery. “The Port Harcourt refinery is still not working after receiving a $1.2 billion dollars loan since 2021. Where is the money?”

Also, under the leadership of Mr. Mele Kyari as the NNPCL GMD, billions of dollars in loans were procured to revamp the Kaduna refinery and other refineries across the country, where are the billions of dollars or the functioning refineries? Rather, we keep seeing and hearing doctored figures and lies from the NNPCL for over eight (8) years while Nigerians buy fuel at about N700 per litre.

“Recently, between January and March 2024, OPEC data showed that the nation’s crude oil production decreased, and Nigeria lost over $3 billion within three months. If such money is stolen in the Niger Delta region as claimed by the NNPCL, Nigerians would notice or see the money in the lives of the Niger Delta people. Instead, hardship and abject poverty is what is being experienced across the Niger Delta.

“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and the Group Managing Director, Mr. Mele Kyari are the cause of hardship to over 200 million Nigerians, and they are making the President Tinubu’s administration look bad. The NNPCL and its GMD Mr. Mele Kyari has failed woefully.

“Enough is enough! The NNPCL and Mr. Mele Kyari should stop using the people of the Niger Delta to cover up their white-collar administrative oil theft and bunkering. President Tinubu should take a bold step and tackle the rot within the NNPCL and Mr. Mele Kyari led group,” the statement read in part.

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