THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd.) has unveiled an app that would enable it do real time tracking of Nigeria’s stolen crude in both local and international markets.
The national oil company said it has intensified efforts with its international partners to track Nigeria’s stolen crude, using its “unique registration.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd., Mele Kolo Kyari, who disclosed this on Friday, August 12, 2012, said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has been detailed to track possible cash flows proceeds from oil thieves.
According to Kyari, the company now has a camera tracking and monitoring crude oil production in all stations across the country to forestall incidences of oil theft.
He said, “We have created a functional control centre that sees everything we are doing here. A few things are left, but we have upgraded it to a level that every camera in every location by any producer in this country is visible to us. And I’m counting on the support of our partners to do this.
“This collaboration has helped us; when we see wrong movements of persons, we report to the Nigerian Navy and they have always responded, leading to several arrests. I can tell you that we have curtailed the activities of marine thieves to a very large extent.
“We are also following the cash. Let me make it very clear: if you know anyone who is in this business, please guide them. The EFCC is following everyone that is related to these transactions, whether within our companies, government security agencies or wherever.
“Wherever there is massive movement of cash, the EFCC will follow you. And this is also kicking in immediately. We believe that the combination of all these will get us back to normalcy and then people will either see reasons not to continue doing this, or they will pay the price for it.”
He noted that oil pipelines management had become a very difficult thing to deal with, but was quick to state, “we are not helpless.”
Kyari said the oil firm had put up a robust framework of ensuring that it contained the menace and was already seeing the results. He, however, stated that there were still ongoing the activities of oil thieves on the country’s assets.
“This is very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continuously put up in some locations, and also insertions into our pipeline network. We are reacting to it and doing many things about it,” he stated.
Kyari added, “Vessels have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy and I must commend the members of the Armed Forces for in the last three months they have done substantive work. They have taken down a number of illegal refineries.”
He said substantive progress had been recorded in containing the activities of oil thieves, but noted that it would not stop there.
Kyari affirmed that Nigeria’s stolen crude was sold to refineries abroad, since no Nigerian refinery was currently working, vowing that the NNPC would track those refineries.
He said, “As we know, what they steal, they take it to the market. Of course, no refinery is running in our country today and that means that this is taken to a refinery somewhere, and those refineries have the obligation to ensure that they buy Nigeria’s crude from credible sources that they can validate.
“But when they don’t do that it means they are also part of the culprits involved in this. And that is why we are responding in two ways. First, we have created a platform where members of the communities and other Nigerians can report whenever incidences of theft occur.
“We will also reward them and keep it confidential and private. I am directly managing this myself and no one will be exposed. Secondly, on the international scale, companies must report suspicious sales of crude.”
He explained that every crude oil that leaves the country has a unique registration number issued by the NNPC and also validated by the upstream commission.
“And I know that the destination reporting framework is being put up by the commission,” he said.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.