The Federal Government says Nigeria will be spending N15 billion to protect the nation’s oil facilities in the Niger Delta region annually, expressing the disturbance by the increasing wave of pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
The fund is however to be sourced through tripartite arrangements involving, federal and state governments and international oil companies.
This is coming against the backdrop of steady increase in oil production which has stabilized at 2.4million barrels per day, as against about 1.7 million few months ago.
The governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi revealed all this, while briefing state house correspondents after the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the presidential villa.
He asserted that oil production has improved following the progress made by the Military Joint Task Force (MJTF) deployed to the region to protect the nation’s oil installation.
Bayelsa state deputy governor, John Jonah who also spoke on the security situation in the oil producing region, said government has a responsibility to equip security agencies operating in the area.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,(NNPC) the activities of pipeline vandals have complicated the free flow of petroleum products and crude supply in its pipeline system leading to a colossal cost of over N174.57 billion in product losses and repairs of products pipelines within the last 10 years, moreover, the advent of illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and product theft has massively impacted on the capacity of Nigeria’s massive oil and gas assets to function optimally.
The activities of the pipeline vandals have made it impossible for the 21 Pipelines and Product Marketing Company depots nationwide to function full blast.
A total of 16,083 pipeline breaks were recorded within the last 10 years adding that while 398 pipeline breaks representing 2.4 per cent were due to ruptures, the activities of unpatriotic vandals accounted for 15,685 breaks which translates to about 97.5 per cent of the total number of cases.