The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have pledged to partner and mount a sustained media campaign against the persistent crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism menace in the country.
Addressing the leadership of the NUJ in his office at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, yesterday, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, deplored the frequent attacks on the Bonny to Trans Niger trunk line, the Forcados, the Brass and Nembe crude trunk lines which ultimately have reduced revenue accruals from the oil and gas sector to the economy.
“Crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism took a more disturbing dimension from February to date when our entire major trunk lines were attacked at one time or the other. The challenge is real and we lose an equivalent of up to seven cargoes a month,” Yakubu revealed.
He declared that the menace is now a national embarrassment considering its negative impact on the economy and urged all relevant stakeholders to declare war against illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism.
Yakubu submitted that the scheduled turn-around maintenance and rehabilitation of the refineries are on, disclosing that at the moment Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), is operating at 60 per cent percent capacity.
He noted that a new commercial model is being worked out by the corporation to increase the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to serve as an alternative energy source to kerosene, stressing that at the moment only NNPC provides dual purpose kerosene for the entire country.
The NNPC helmsman assured that as a socially responsible corporate citizen, the corporation will support the NUJ in the establishment of its secretariat especially the Institute of Journalism which will promote professionalism in the journalism profession.
In his earlier remarks, the NUJ President, Mohammed Garba, applauded the NNPC GMD on his sterling leadership qualities that he has brought to bear in the oil and gas sector and assured him of the readiness of the NUJ to continue to support him to succeed in the onerous task.
The NUJ President was accompanied on the visit by other members of the national executive of the union.
Information from This Day was used in this report.