By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Nigeria has lost $2 billion to oil theft between January and August this year alone, while several oil facilities were destroyed.
As a result, Senate Ad-hoc Committee is to unearthl the impact of crude oil theft and its impact on the country’s petroleum production and oil revenues, reports have shown.
The Committee Chairman, Senator Bassey Akpan while presenting the report at the Senate on Tuesday, also disclosed that 122 suspects have so far been arrested for various offenses ranging from oil theft and pipeline vandalization.
Akpan, who is a Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, however enlivened hope for Nigerian economy when he announced that with the intervention of NNPC Limited, the Forcados terminal has restored 500,000 barrels per day into the system while Bonny terminal, which was shut down for seven months is on the verge of restoring to normalcy.
Towards returning the country’s national petroleum production on the path of recovery, the committee according to Senator Akpan recommended that the implementation of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) takes precedence over administrative directives as regards the streamlining of functions of upstream, downstream and midstream regulatory authorities while the Ministry of Transport should withdraw its interference on advance cargo declarations.
While recommending stiff penalties for oil thieves and vandals, the Committee pressed for an end to dual and conflicting presence of regulatory authorities in the county’s oil terminals in accordance with the provisions of PIA. It discovered that such conflict has created negative impact on the ease of doing business and led to conflicting figures on the quantity of oil stolen.
The committee also wants the regulatory agencies to deploy its metering system to effectively monitor oil production in the country as it is not in the interest of the country for major oil companies to carry out such function using their metering systems.
It would be recalled that the Senate had in April 14, 2022 constituted a 13 -man committee chaired by Senator Akpant to unravel the impact of crude oil theft and its impact on the country’s petroleum production and oil revenues.
The committee had visited some key oil installations and oil terminals in the Niger Delta Region and followed up with public hearing with industry players.