NNPC Cuts Losses To N82bn From N800bn
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said losses from vandalism and oil theft has reduced from N800 billion in 2018 to less than N82billion, a feat attributable to clampdown on vandals by joint security efforts.
Its Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari who spoke at the official handover of four patrol vehicles and four quad bikes to the Taskforce against vandalism, Operation AWATSE at the headquarters, Western Naval Command (WNC) Apapa, Lagos, said the loss reduction was a feat management was very proud of. He said by early last year, the level of losses suffered from vandalism along the pipelines from Atlas Cove to Ilorin were impossible to manage.
“We sought support of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who instructed the set up of the operation AWATSE that led to the arrest of this situation reducing our losses to less than 50 per cent of what we knew at that time.
“It enabled us also to increase flow into that line from less than 800,000 to 2.6 million tons by the end of 2019. Currently, we know that we will exceed this target. So, it is a huge success because without the intervention of Operation AWATSE and all the associated support from all the service- the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), we would not have achieved this. So, it is a very critical assignment for us and we are very happy that this has happened.”
Kyari said the NNPC under his watch promised accountability to Nigerians and have stayed committed to it, noting that the corporation was the only agency that publishes its operations account monthly.
He said: “We promised Nigerians that this company, our own company owned by all of us, the over 200 million Nigerians will be accountable to all.
“We are very accountable to all. Today, everybody knows what we are doing. We are the only company that publishes its operations account on monthly basis. We have never published the annual financial statement of this company but it was done for 2018 and 2019.
“Nigerians now know what we are doing on their behalf and that has caused us to improve in our performance.
“We have reduced our losses from what was N800 billion in 2018 to less than N82 billion and we are very proud of this. Therefore, in terms of accountability and transparency, we have achieved that and we also promise that we will perform excellently on behalf of the Nigeria people.
“That’s a reflection of the financial statement, that’s what the financial statement tells you that this company has come of age. We have automated almost over 80per cent of our processes, we have taken out discretion in over 80 per cent of our processes in that way we know this company by the close of this year, we would declare our dividend to Nigerians,” he said.
He described as false, allegations that it did not remit N21 billion revenue from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to the Federation Account.
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had in a report submitted to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, accused the NNPC of failing to remit dividends paid into the NLNG dividend account.
RMAFC alleged that the NNPC spent the money without remitting same to government coffers.
Reacting to the allegation during an interview with reporters, Kyari said it was practically impossible not to remit money into the federation account.
He said: “I think it is just impossible not to remit money into the Federation Account. It is also impossible to withdraw any money illegally from any account of government. By the way, the NLNG accounts are Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) and domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“It is practically impossible. We thought the accusation was very pedestrian and we didn’t bother to react to it because we know that it is impossible.”
Asked what the NNPC was doing to make the pipelines not readily accessible to vandals, he said the corporation was tackling the issue from multiple fronts.
Asides empowering security agencies to closely monitor the pipeline areas, Kyari said the NNPC was using technology to monitor vulnerable pipelines.
He said plans were also on to bury the pipelines deeper into the ground through a process called HDD, which he said was very expensive.
“They are very expensive but it is not every line that you need to do this. There are segments that we have done HDD line. We continue to improve by the way, we are going ahead with a BOT process where the entire lines should be replaced so at the end of the day, we would put the best of class processes on ground and at the end, those issues will become very minimal.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin said the donation of the mobility assets will enhance the Taskforce’s capacity to rapidly deploy enforcement resources for the country’s energy security.
Olonisakin who was represented by the Director of Operations, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Jack Yusuf, reiterated the need to establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Tarkwa Bay for credible presence to sustain gains recorded, adding that he had approved the deployment of additional 110 troops, to hold the ground and prevent the return of many of the cleared hoodlums.
The CDS noted that a clearance operation, KUROMBE under AWATSE was conceived last year to rid the Atlas Cove Storage facility and its network of pipelines of activities of criminal elements that were causing the nation serious economic loss.
“The dwindling oil prices internationally saw the downward trend in government revenue generation for some time now. This among others has necessitated the need for judicious use of resources to minimise waste. Therefore, all efforts including the terrain advantages that these assets offer, must be emplaced to ensure the security of pipelines and the smooth distribution of petroleum products across the country.
“Let me assure you that the Defence Headquarters will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure the successful take off of the FOB and other initiative that will ensure adequate security of the Atlas Cove and other critical national infrastructures.
“As expected, the magnitude of discoveries and subsequent destruction of illegal structures and equipment used by these unscrupulous elements and saboteurs, we know that the criminals will not back off easily. Their inability to return after several attempts, under various guise including several petitions and litigations will not deter our efforts. C”onsequently, I have directed the legal department to examine all the petition received and take the necessary legal steps to address them,” said Olonisakin.
In his welcome remarks, the Commander, Operation AWATSE and Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji said between December 21, 2019 to August 3, a total of 2,862 illegal structures/shanties that encroached on the NNPC Pipeline Right of Way or were used to perpetrate pipeline vandalism were removed.
“Similarly, 553,879 x 25 litres empty jerry cans estimated at N553,879,000 were recovered and destroyed. If the vandals had succeeded, the empty jerry cans would have been used to steal about N1.6 billion worth of petrol.
“Additionally, 3,708 x 25 litres jerry cans filled with PMS worth N13,997,700 were recovered and handed over to the depot manager. Furthermore, a total of 310 hand-dug pits filled with PMS used by pipeline vandals for siphoning PMS were discovered during the clearance operation, KUROMBE.
“It is gratifying to note that NNPC maintenance team have permanently sealed the pits. During the clearance operations, 31 persons, including some foreigners, were arrested for involvement in petroleum products theft and pipeline vandalism and were handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies. These among others were some modest achievements of the Operation KUROMBE in concert with other security agencies, particularly the NSCDC, DSS and the Marine Police…”
Daji noted that the NNPC had also supported security operations by hiring Swamp Buggies and fueling, adding that the vehicles and quad bikes have been modified to operate in challenging terrains at the Atlas Cove and adjacent Tarkwa Bay Island.