The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated that the huge loss was due to severe attacks on critical export pipelines and relentless vandalism of crude oil exports.
As a result, this impacted adversely on the country’s economy despite the huge sums appropriated to secure the maritime sector.
“It’s not beyond the Nigerian government but it requires international collaboration. Like I said, there are so many factors and we need to deal with those factors starting with the economic factor especially the communities where a lot of the youths are idle and they are not doing anything,” Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor, Delta State, Nigeria told CNBC Africa.
Uduaghan believes that the raging unemployment in the country is the major cause of the criminal activities and the government in conjunction with the state federal government must provide opportunities for the youths to be employed.
“If many of them are employed, they will not be available to be recruited for illegal activities, so the pool of those available will be quite few.”
According to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, the total crude oil that was lost in the country in 2013, was equivalent to the total output of Equatorial Guinea and was larger than the entire production of Congo Brazzaville, Cameroun, Ghana and Gabon.
“There are challenges with the security agencies in terms of equipment, in terms of welfare and other things. So we need to improve their welfare and their kind of surveillance equipment needs to be improved and of course the security agencies need to be educated to ensure they do the work as they are supposed to,” he explained.
According to the governor of the oil producing state, the International oil companies (IOCs) should bury their pipelines deeper and ensure they are better equipped to detect vandalism which will in turn certify that the problem is dealt with as when discovered.
“Then, we have the international aspect of it. Most of the crude is exported, some of it is used for small refineries but most of it is exported, where do they export them to? Which countries receive them? Can they not be tagged? Can they not identify the stolen one from the genuine one?” he said.
In conclusion, Uduaghan is certain that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will ensure the local communities are more involved in oil activities and that will not only keep them busy but provide more money.