Buhari orders Osinbajo, others to put end to crude oil theft

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and others to find a lasting solution to crude oil theft in the country.

The president made this call during the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on National Economy which he inaugurated in his office on Friday, September 9, 2022.

Buhari while acknowledging the impact of the menace on the nation’s revenue exchange, reminded them that production of crude oil owing to economic sabotage has led to a production decline at half the nation’s OPEC quota.

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He therefore, urged members to tackle the distinct challenge while promising that his administration will work assiduously to reverse the trend.

Members of the committee include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is also chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who represents the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and other members of the cabinet.

At the maiden meeting, President Buhari defended the nation’s borrowing rate, asserting that it is vital to achieving infrastructural development.

He identified as another source of concern the nation’s resource mobilization (when compared to other countries) which he notes impinges on the nation’s ability to perform.

The Presidential Committee is expected to review the national economic situation and propose measures to ensure the progress of the nation’s economy, receive regular updates on economic conditions in the country, identify issues that require urgent intervention to improve macroeconomic and fiscal conditions, review the impact of existing and new policies on the Nigerian economy and provide directions to relevant institutions responsible for fiscal, monetary and other relevant policies.

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This development is coming days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, lamented that some mosques, churches, and others have become centres for stolen crude oil.

The NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele KyariHe who disclosed this stressed that wherever the stolen product is found mostly in churches and mosques, there has been a network of vandals working in collaboration.

He stressed that wherever the stolen product is found mostly in churches and mosques, there has been a network of vandals working in collaboration.

He also said that the shutting down of pipelines in the country was deliberate.

The CEO also said that the reason for shutting down the refineries includes the challenge of not operating as a business, thereby making them incur losses.

“When a fire outbreak happened in one of our pipelines, we discovered that some of the pipelines were actually connected to individuals’ homes. And not only that, and with all sensitivity to our religious beliefs, you know, some of the pipelines and some of the products that we found, are actually in churches and in mosques,” Kyari said.

“That means that everybody is involved. There is no way you will take products, bring them in trucks in populated neighborhoods, load them, and leave without everybody else knowing about it. Everybody includes members of the community, members of the religious leaders, and also and most likely government officials of all natures, including security agencies personnel.

“They are everywhere. And I’ve seen this even in the Niger Delta. There’s no way you would deliver a volume and lose up to 30 percent and you will continue to put those products in this line.”

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