The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has emphasized the importance of addressing crude oil theft and sabotage, which pose a clear and present danger to the country’s economy and national security.
Speaking at a conference on oil theft and losses in Nigeria, Osinbajo highlighted the need for accountability and action, as both institutional and personal reputations are at stake.
Osinbajo stressed that such a grievous crime cannot simply be a subject of summitry; “people must do their jobs, and if they are unable to do them, then there must be an accounting for such failures at the institutional level, and personal reputations are at stake.”
He expressed concern that “oil theft and sabotage of oil and gas assets are a clear and present danger to our economy and national security. Not only do they pose a serious threat to oil exploration and our energy economy, but they also impact negatively on revenue accruals to the Federation and the business prospects of investors in the oil sector.”
Noting that the Federal Government prioritized the development of the Niger Delta, as well as the protection of oil assets, the Vice President emphasized that the theft of crude oil and the accompanying attacks on our energy infrastructure, especially in the Niger Delta, have been of utmost concern since the inception of the present administration.
Against the backdrop of huge production cuts and revenue losses, Osinbajo highlighted the work done by the National Economic Council, which he chairs.
According to him, the council set up an ad hoc committee to ascertain the magnitude of oil theft and losses in Nigeria and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
His words: “Most of the recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee informed the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, and are being implemented. Even so, acts of vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure, oil theft, and low production yields are still being reported in “damaging and unacceptable proportions.”
He also noted that the federal government has prioritized the development of the Niger Delta and the protection of oil assets.