April 18, 2024

Poor production: Oil Minister, CDS vow to curb oil theft in N/Delta

Heineken Lokpobiri

Heineken Lokpobiri

By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja

With Nigeria facing the reality of not meeting its 2024 oil production target, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Musa have vowed to curb oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

Both agreed that the menace of oil theft which has seriously curtailed production and export has significantly impacted Nigeria’s ability to fund its budget and generate foreign exchange.

Speaking in Abuja in Abuja when the CDS visited him, Senator Lokpobiri explained that “the quickest way to solve our economic challenges is through the oil and gas sector. Today, oil sells for over $90 per barrel and if we ramp up production and we reduce the level of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, we will be able to raise the requisite money to be able to fund not only our budget, take care of our forex problems and then ensure that we stabilize our economy.

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“There is no country in the world that doesn’t prioritize security and investment in its oil assets. Part of our own objectives is to reduce pipeline vandalism and oil theft to the barest minimum. We cannot completely eliminate it but working together with you will be able to reduce it to the barest minimum. So that we will be able to benefit from the production of oil and gas that is going on.

“Our commitment to you today is that we will work very closely with and we will give all the support that is needed to make sure that we reduce this menace of pipeline vandalism, illegal refining and oil theft to the barest minimum”, he added.

Earlier, General Musa said the military was determined to end oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the region to boost the country’s oil production.

“We know all the challenges that we are facing, some of them directly and some indirectly. This is to assure that the armed forces of Nigeria are fully in support of you and your ministry and we will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure that the country benefits from the God given resources that we have”, he stated.