Set up special court to try crude oil thieves now, NNPC GMD, Kyari, urges Reps

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There is now the imperative to set up special court to try crude oil thieves for the overall well being of the economy, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, has urged the nation’s House of Representatives.

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Speaking while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Kyari noted: “I will recommend that we set up a special court for this, so that such cases would be quickly dealt with.

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“It is not just the small persons that you see at those locations that are prosecuted. We know that to sell crude oil on the international market is not a commonman’s business, it is not the business of the ordinary people that you see in these illegal refinery settings.

“It is an elitist business and we must have the courage to set up a very independent special court to try cases related to these,” the GMD told the legislators.

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Kyari who, not long ago, expressed misgivings over Nigeria’s inability to increase crude oil production due to the economic sabotage of oil thieves, equally worried that  the country’s total crude oil production is less than a far cry of 1.5 million barrels per day resulting from the damaging effects of large-scale oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.

He equally expressed concern that oil theft has grossly affected development of the oil sector which, ordinarily, has the capacity to be aided by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), noting: “It is a difficult circumstance for the industry and that is why, despite the good intention and the provisions of the PIA – no one will produce oil and recover zero income and put the money back into the business.

“That is why investments are very weak despite the good physical environment that the PIA has brought.

“I have had the privilege to answer questions around investment climate in very many international platforms. And they will tell you: ‘If we bring our money, how are you sure they will not steal the oil.’

“It is very difficult to give a straight answer. Of course, what we are doing now will contain it and will bring stability back with all the efforts of all of us.

“I’m not sure we are short of legislation. It is life imprisonment for the attack on these facilities so there are laws to support these.”

Speaking on advocacy, Kyari said: “What we need to do is to increase the advocacy so that the legal process gets its course, and prosecutions are done timely.

“Otherwise the impact today it has on our overall economic outlook, our ability to improve foreign exchange and also in terms of energy security for this country is threatened by very few people.

“Clearly, they are very few if you look at the scale of what is going on,” disclosing that relevant regulatory agencies and security agencies are already collaborating with the company to ensure containment of the sabotage.

“It is not beyond us. I’m very confident that the leadership being given by the Chief of Defence Staff, alongside his service chiefs, is paying off,” he enthused, expressing the hope of future sanity and sustainability./SHARE THIS

  • Tags: Mallam Mele Kyari, NNPC Ltd, House of Reps, Oil thieves
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