The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday said the nation lost about $750 million to oil theft in 2019.
The amount is about N230 billion at the official CBN exchange rate of N306 to $1.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, gave the figure in a presentation to members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) who visited the NNPC Towers, Abuja, on a study tour today.
A statement by Samson Makoji, acting spokesman of the NNPC, said the GMD decried the growing activities of oil thieves and pirates which he described as a threat to the operations of the corporation.
Kyari stated that any threat to the corporation’s operations was a direct threat to the very survival of Nigeria as a nation because of the strategic role of the corporation as an enabler of the economy.
He listed other security challenges facing the corporation to include vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and kidnapping of personnel, adding that there was a deep connection between the various shades of insecurity challenges as they are all linked to what was happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.
He called for a concerted effort and synergy to secure oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country.
In his presentation, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Engr. Yemi Adetunji, said in 2016, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of 62 cases worldwide.
He said the corporation was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, and cited the “Operation Kurombe” that was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.