The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is set to look into the rising oil theft in the petroleum sector.
In the last week, chairman of UBA Group, Tony Elumelu took to social media to talk about this issue. He explained that the reason the country couldn’t meet it’s crude oil production quota and gain from the rising oil prices worldwide was because of oil theft. According to him, the country is losing 95% of it’s oil to thieves.
On Monday, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele as well spoke up about this problem. He explained that the rising level of oil theft was having an adverse effect on the country’s economy.
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The NUPRC has now decided to act. On Tuesday, the commission announced that a team of experts had been formed to audit the activities of operators in the upstream petroleum industry in the last two years. The panel will investigate the technical and commercial operations of companies involved in the crude oil selling process.
“The commission is not unaware of the tragedy of oil theft which has been a plague on the industry and had last year triggered an industry-wide initiative aimed at curbing it and increasing crude production levels; a development which followed an express presidential directive,” A statement from Gbenga Komolafe, the commission’s CEO read.
“Worried by incessant acts of sabotage by criminals and some unscrupulous persons within the industry, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that all necessary mechanisms be activated to curb oil theft in particular and immediately end other forms of economic sabotage in the oil and gas industry. Action on the directive commenced immediately and is on-going.
“The Commission thus considers worrisome, the crude loss figures recently being quoted in the media by some operators, given actions taken so far on the issue. To ascertain the veracity of these claims, the Commission has activated all the necessary mechanisms to get to the root of the matter and establish the actual volume of crude stolen as against the volumes claimed”, The statement also added.