Oil Theft: Navy Denies Indicting NNPCL

The Nigerian Navy has denied indicting the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) over oil theft in Nigeria.

This is according to a statement signed by the Nigerian Navy Director of Information, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, who was reacting to reports that the Navy accused the company of not disclosing the true case(s) of crude oil theft in Nigeria but dishing out bloated figures to stay safe.

“The report indicated that the chairman of the committee demanded explanations on why the country continued to experience cases of oil theft if the waterways were secured,” the statement added.

“The distinguished senator had queried that, ‘The oil theft issue has been a very worrisome one to every Nigerian and more importantly, it has negatively impacted our economy. How come the Navy hasn’t been able to solve the issue of oil theft and if the Navy is claiming that the waterways are secured, why are there still cases of oil theft?’

“Equally, it was mentioned that another senator noted that at an oversight function, the NNPCL said crude pipelines were being tapped from the pressure pipe under the sea and crude oil was usually transferred from there into vessels, and this had been happening for nine year.

“He reportedly asked, ‘Is the Navy aware or not of the tapping going on under the sea?’ The questions were all responded to and in the course of responding, it was explained that the challenge is due to the criminal activity inshore by the illegal local refiners in tapping into the export lines many of which have not been in operation since early this year, 2022, resulting in opportunity lost.

“The Navy representative at the Senate hearing repeatedly mentioned that the Navy is not indicting the NNPCL in any way and has been working with the national oil giant to curb the menace of crude oil theft since April 1, 2022, when Operation Dakatar Da Barawo was launched in Onne, Rivers State as a mutual effort and synergy between the Navy and NNPCL to address issues of crude oil theft, rampant illegal artisan refineries and illegal oil bunkering amongst other criminalities in the creeks.

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