Worried by the colossal loss in revenue and facilities the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Nigerian Armed Forces have finalized plans to deploy officers of the Army and Navy to protect oil pipelines against vandals across the country beginning from today.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed this weekend said that the corporation is working assiduously with the security agencies to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism, crude and petroleum products theft.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, he stressed that that security agencies have pledged to deploy drone technology in order to ensure that oil pipelines are secured.
He further disclosed how the activities of pipeline vandals have complicated the free flow of petroleum products and crude supply in its pipeline system leading to a colossal cost of over N174.57 billion in product losses and repairs of products pipelines within the last 10 years.
Kachikwu said the deployment of the drone technology has become imperative due to the huge loss of crude and petroleum products to oil thieves noting that the time has come for the corporation and the Nigerian security agencies to adopt technological strategies to curb the menace.
He stated that due to the high incidences of pipeline vandalism, the corporation cannot pump crude and petroleum products through its network of pipelines across the country noting that crude theft is in excess of 250,000 barrels per day which represents one fifth of daily production.
He said the renewed collaboration would enable the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps take over the pipelines surveillance from the Nigeria Police Force stressing that the Engineering Corps would also be saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the pipelines.
The GMD stated that the NNPC is willing to equip the Nigerian Navy with state-of-the-art boats that would enable it track and monitor every oil bearing vessel that comes in and out of the Nigeria water ways.
He said that the corporation and security agencies will engage in regular redeployment, rotation and reshuffling of their staff in order to curb insider collaboration with vandals.
He further disclosed that the corporation’s human resources department is working on quality staff performance model, staff promotions will be based on performance while non-performing and bad staff will be shown the way out.
He maintained that no longer should the corporation be seen as a social welfare but purely a business venture, noting that each of the subsidiaries must be run profitably.
He said that unless the trend of incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism is reversed, the amount of resources lost is so massive that it is now an emergency to deploy every weapon in our arsenal to battle the scourge.
He called on all Nigerians to rise up against this deadly scourge called corruption alleging that only the influential and rich people in the society that engage in bursting pipelines. He stressed that poor people don’t have what it takes to burst pipes as it requires expertise, logistics, transportation (vehicles )to engage in the illegal business.
He said that the advent of illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and product theft has massively impacted on the capacity of Nigeria’s massive oil and gas assets to function optimally
He explained that though the combined working capacity of all the 21 Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, depots nationwide, excluding holding capacities at the refineries, can provide products sufficiency of up to 32 days for petrol, 65 days for kerosene and 42 days for diesel, the activities of the pipeline vandals have made it impossible for the facilities to function full blast.
In a bid to ensure lean, efficient and profitable operations, he said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to commence the unbundling of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Ltd into three different companies.
Kachikwu stated that the PPMC would be split into a pipelines company that would focus primarily on the maintenance of the over 5000 kilometers of pipelines of the corporation; a storage company that would maintain all the over 23 depots and a products marketing company that would market and sell petroleum products.
He said that the move would ensure that the right set of skills are rightly positioned and the number of leakages in terms of pipelines break and products loss are reduced to the barest minimum.
According to him, ongoing phased rehabilitation of all the state owned refineries would be given an accelerated vigour with the aim of reducing petroleum products importation into the country, adding that at full capacity, all the refineries could supply only 20 million litres of premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol on a daily basis.
He said that the refineries would not be sold but joint venture partners with established track records of success in refining would be invited to support the running of the refineries in order to ensure efficiency.
Kachikwu commended the NNPC’s engineers for the successful execution of the ongoing phased rehabilitation of the refineries while urging them to prepare replacement programmes for obsolete spare parts of all the corporation’s installations in order to avoid intermittent shut down of facilities.