Tinubu Urged to Disregard NNPCL’s ‘False’ Claims of Oil Theft in Niger Delta

Tinubu Urged to Disregard NNPCL's 'False' Claims of Oil Theft in Niger Delta | Daily Report Nigeria


The Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has cautioned President Bola Tinubu against believing the recent claims made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and its Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, regarding illegal pipeline connections and refineries in the Niger Delta region.

According to the group, the NNPCL’s claims are “false and meant to deceive and distract” the President and the Nigerian public. The group’s Publicity Secretary, Kelvin Orughoe, stated that the NNPCL’s claims of 38 illegal pipeline connections and 108 illegal refineries are “non-existent” and “pure lies.”

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Orughoe argued that the NNPCL’s claims are based on an “old playbook used to deceive Nigerians every year for the past eight years.” He recalled how the same fraudulent scheme was used to deceive former President Muhammadu Buhari into agreeing to the non-remittance of billions of dollars from crude oil sales into federal government coffers for over seven months.

“We are writing to President Bola Tinubu not to be deceived by the false battle cry by the NNPCL using non-existence numbers of illegal refineries and the so-called massive oil theft activities in the creeks of the Niger Delta,” Orughoe said. “These NNPCL acclaimed sites of 38 illegal pipeline connections and 108 illegal refineries do not exist in the creeks of the Niger Delta region.”

Orughoe challenged the NNPCL and Kyari to provide President Tinubu and Nigerians with the details of the $1.9 billion monthly loss claim made in 2021. He also alleged inconsistency in their facts, stating that they twist facts at their whim and caprices.

The group questioned the drastic decline in Nigeria’s crude oil production, which has dipped to 1.25 million barrels per day, including condensate, according to recent OPEC data. Orughoe queried, “Why is it that it was when Kyari was appointed that our nation’s crude oil production started going down drastically, given the fact that these are the most peaceful periods in the Niger Delta region?”

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The group also demanded an investigation into the $1.2 billion loan procured in 2021 to revamp the Port Harcourt Refinery, which is still not functional. Orughoe asked, “Where is the money? Also, under the current leadership of NNPCL GMD, billions of dollars in loans were procured to revamp the Kaduna refinery and other refineries across the country. Where are the billions of dollars or the functioning refineries?”

The MSDND accused the NNPCL and Kyari of using “doctored figures and lies” to deceive Nigerians, while the country loses billions of dollars in revenue. Orughoe concluded, “Instead of presenting false figures, Mele Kyari and his cohorts in the NNPCL should tell Nigerians the truth about where the real leakages of Nigeria’s crude oil exist.”

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