The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has raised alarms over the pervasive vandalism plaguing over 5,000 kilometers of oil pipelines across the country, declaring it a national calamity.

Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, while speaking during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), expressed deep concern over the impact of pipeline vandalism on the nation.

Kyari emphasized the severity of the situation, citing the inability to pump oil through the pipeline from Warri to Benin for the past 22 years as a significant repercussion of this ongoing crisis.

He revealed that approximately 10 million liters of oil were lost due to vandalism during the pumping process from Aba to Enugu.

“The company has been unable to pump oil from Warri to Benin within the last 22 years and cannot connect to Ore,” stated Kyari, addressing the extensive disruption caused by pipeline vandalism, terming it a ‘substantial national calamity,” Kyari said.

Despite extensive security measures implemented to curb these crimes, Kyari said the company continues to grapple with the issue, attributing the challenge to the old and obsolete nature of the pipelines. In response, NNPCL plans to undertake a massive replacement initiative for the vandalized and outdated pipelines as a potential solution, he added.

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Kyari also highlighted the impact of deregulation in the oil sector, particularly the removal of subsidies in May of the current year, outlining the transformation of NNPCL into a profitable entity.

He disclosed that before the deregulation in 2018, the company faced losses amounting to N802 billion. However, post-deregulation in 2021, NNPCL recorded an excess profit of N687 billion.

Furthermore, Kyari pointed out a significant decrease in daily oil consumption, from 67 million liters during the subsidy era to an average of 55 million liters presently. Additionally, he cited the resolution of smuggling issues across borders as a notable achievement following the subsidy removal.

While members of the committee responded positively to NNPCL’s presentation, Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP Bayelsa West) urged the company to reevaluate its surveillance security contracts, highlighting concerns regarding the exclusion of certain oil-producing areas.

Also, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (APC Anambra South) and other committee members suggested a comprehensive examination of sector challenges during an upcoming retreat.