An illegal oil connection has been discovered by a delegation sent by President Bola Tinubu to assess the oil theft situation in the Niger Delta.
According to the statement which was released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and made available to The Eastern Updates on Sunday, the country loses an average of $7.2 million monthly from the illegal connection discovered in Owaza, Abia State.
NNPCL went further to add that clandestine refineries and the environmental devastation the team saw translated into severe economic losses for the nation.
The delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Malam Muhammed Badaru, has service chiefs and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, as members.
Other members are Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr Ekperipe Ekpo, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, and Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd.
Also on the team are the Commander of “Operation Delta Safe,” Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, operatives of security agencies, and chief executive officers of regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector.
The team visited the Trans-Niger Pipeline’s right of way in Owaza, Abia, where an array of dismantled illegal connections were observed.
‘We are ready to do whatever it takes for a peaceful Niger Delta,’ Badaru stated, urging the perpetrators to ‘cease and desist from crude oil theft and economic sabotage.’
The Eastern Updates reports that crude oil theft and bunkering has continued to negatively impact on the Nigerian economy.
Amidst oil price hike, Nigeria has failed to benefit from the windfall raising major concerns among major stakeholders.
The country has for many years not been able to meet up with their OPEC quota amidst calls to increase it for other oil producing and exporting nations in the world.