Connect with us


Oil Theft: Osinbajo Tasks Stakeholders on Tackling Criminality



Osinbajo mourns Diya, as Gov. Abiodun takes over burial arrangements

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, tasked stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to come out with recommendations and solutions that would address oil theft and boost production in the country.

Osinbajo indicated this in Abuja while addressing a “Stakeholders Conference on Oil Theft and Loses in Nigeria”.

The conference with the theme: “Protecting Petroleum Industry Assets for Improved Economy”, was organised by the Investigative Panel on Oil Theft/Losses in Nigeria under the chairmanship of retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu.

“All theft and sabotage of oil and gas assets are a clear and present danger to our economy and national security. Not only do they pose a serious threat to all exploration and our energy economy, but they also impact negatively what is accrued to the federation and the business prospects on investors in the oil and gas sector.

Group photograph after the opening ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja.

“If not checked, this will fuel crises that will paralyse the government and leave our country extremely vulnerable to all of the shocks and other unexpected consequences.

“Large-scale theft of crude oil undermines our efforts to optimise the intended vision. Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) put the audited figure of oil theft and losses at something in the order of 619.7m barrels of crude oil daily.

“And this is valued at $46 billion dollars or N16.25 trillion; and all of these losses occurred between 2010 and 2020,” he said.

“In addition, Nigeria lost about 4.2bn liters of petroleum products from refineries which were valued at over 1.4bn dollars at the rate of 140,000 barrels per day from 2009 to 2018.

“This is just an average, because, there are peaks where we see losses between 200 to 400 thousand barrels in a day.

“Institutional and personal reputation are at stake. I think that is the cardinal reason we are here. I employ us to exhaust the decision on this matter.

Oil Theft: Osinbajo Tasks Stakeholders on Tackling Criminality
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Slyva

“With the profile of discussants, I hope you will discuss appropriately and come up with recommendations that would proffer solutions and achieve the overall objective of this conference.

“I want you to think out of the box and be courageously innovative in proferring your recommendations,” Osinbajo charged.

He further stressed that the total value of crude oil losses between 2009  and 2020 was higher than the size of Nigeria’s foreign reserve at any point in time and also 10 times Nigeria’s savings in our crude account.

He commended Ndiomu and the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Mongonu.

“However, our administration is committed to leaving our best actions, notes and ideas for use by the next administration and better of our nation”.

Monguno said the presence of Osinbajo clearly demonstrated the resolve and commitment of the Federal Government to address the perennial challenge of oil theft and other related criminalities in the country.

“The initial concerns of oil theft in the country date back to the early 1980s; but in recent times, the situation has developed to a more pronounced and disturbing level.

“This is because the criminals have now increased the level of sophistication considering the various methods they employ to tap primary pipelines with illegal secondary pipelines to load on barges and sell to international collaborators.

“Also they process locally for illicit domestic sale. These attacks on oil-producing facilities have led to several shutdowns, and in some instances declaration of force majeure by some international oil companies in the country.

“This had resulted in the loss of revenue and by implication negated the capacity of government to generate the required resources to fulfill its statutory responsibilities to the citizenry,’’ said the NSA.

According to him, addressing crude oil theft requires strong interagency collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, such as security agencies, the NNPCL, International Oil Companies and very crucially, the local communities.

Mongonu explained that a high-tech real-time Intelligence Maritime Domain Awareness Facility between August 2018 and January 2023 facilitated the prosecution of over 200 vessels involved in maritime criminality within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

“In addition, 83 oil tankers involved in various crude oil and product theft have been arrested while the theft of over three million barrels of crude oil was prevented and 11 million litres of petrol and diesel were recovered.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Slyva, said the theme of the conference was apt, adding that it will address some of the challenges bedeviling the oil and gas sector for decades.

Slyva explained that the volume of crude oil loss to non-state actors and the manner the situation has disrupted the nation’s economy is of grave concern.

“The oil and gas industry as the major source of foreign exchange for Nigeria’s industry has come under serious attacks, bringing serious losses to government revenues.

“30 years ago, Nigeria could produce over two million barrels of oil per day; however, today, it struggles to drill as little as 60 percent of that amount.

“The concerted efforts of the government in terms of securing our petroleum industry assets are yielding positive results and this tempo will be sustained to achieve OPEC’s quota,’’ Slyva said.

 Slyva was represented at the event by the Director of Downstream Sector in the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar.

The Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses in Nigeria retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu, had earlier said due to the protracted cases of oil theft, the Federal Government awarded pipeline surveyed contracts to some companies.

According to him, the company included Tantita Security Services Limited, adding that the strategy eventually led to the widely publicised discovery of an illegal connection used in the diversion of crude oil along the Trans-Escravas Trunk Line.

“Consequently, the Federal Government immediately swung into action by employing measures to address the situation. This led to the inauguration of the investigative Panel, chaired by humble self.

“There is no gainsaying the enormous impact the menace has had on the nation’s crude oil production with our oil output hitting a 13-year low of 800,000 barrels per day.

“On the side of the law enforcement and security, agencies visits were made to the Chief of Army and Navel Staff, to the DG-DSS, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the EFCC, among others.

“These engagements availed us information on the challenges their respective organisations faced in securing our nation’s oil assets and combating oil theft.

“These efforts provided us new knowledge and elicited honest discussion amongst Panel Members that led to some obvious conclusions, signifying that theft and loss of crude oil stemmed from the twin issues of complicity and negligence,’’ Ndiomu said.

The chairman of the investigative panel further explained that the emergent picture suggests the existence of a sophisticated network of complicity between elements from the host communities, security agencies and industry players.

He added that they included both government and private institutions alike, as well as international collaborators.

“The conception of this conference is part of the panel’s strategy to obtain additional inputs, information and data on the subject matter. Today’s event, therefore, aims at consolidating on what has been achieved so far,” Ndiomu said.

Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPCL, Mr. Mele Kyari, represented by Mr. Bala Wunti from the company, said the security of oil resources is important to the economic growth of the country.

Kyari explained the various challenges faced by the company in the production of crude oil and called on all stakeholders to be committed in addressing the various challenges that made Nigeria lose its oil resources to criminals.

The event attracted officials from the Ministries of Finance, Interior, Petroleum, Environment and Education.

Others were officials from the National Assembly, Service Chiefs, military and paramilitary agencies, NNPCL, PENGASSAN, NIMASA, Oil Companies, Captains of industries, traditional rulers from host communities and many relevant stakeholders.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Simply Easy Learning
Click to comment


SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice



SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has mapped out plans to get rid of quacks involved in management system practice in the country.

Its Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, made this known on Thursday at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement for the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) in Lagos.

Salim said the move would put an end to unscrupulous individuals who shortchanged companies and individuals.

According to him, the quacks lacked the required competency to operate in the management system space.

Salim said that conformity assessment practice was central to the sustenance of commercial success and continuity in all sectors.

He said that management system practitioners were vital toward ensuring that practices carried out by the industries “are in alignment with the international best practice in terms of the expectations of existing conformity assessment standards”.

“It is in view of the importance of the authenticity and traceability of products and services to meet the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards and other approved specifications.

“SON seeks to pursue the implementation of Part II, Section 4(d) and Part III, Section 5 of the SON Act No.14 of 2015.

“Via the operation of the NRCAP scheme, in order to establish a directory of verified and registered Conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all laboratories, management system consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, inspection bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors.”

He said that lack of regulation of activities of the practitioners over the years had negatively impacted the industry and country significantly.

Salim listed other impacts including: “poor protection of genuine practitioners, unhealthy competition, poor visibility and recognition of genuine and competent practitioners capable of attracting patronage.

“Others are poor value for money for unsuspecting customers patronising quacks who deliver poor services.”

He also said that lack of official register of competent practitioners to aid national planning and coordination of economic activities that border on standardisation and quality assurance was also a challenge to the growth of the economy.

“This engagement is guided by the strategic collaboration/partnership that SON shares with various organisations over time, especially with the SON Management Systems Certification and Training Services Departments with which you interface through your customers, of which you are expected to bring to bear, your wealth of experience to this national call,” he said.

The SON director-general said that the registration processes, including approved guidelines, expectations of benchmarking Conformity Assessment standards and interests while developing the documents, were taken into consideration to ensure that impartiality of the process was assured.

He said that adequate training was given to the practitioners to boost their service delivery.

Earlier, Bode Oke, the First President, Society for Management System Practitioners of Nigeria, said the group would join hands with SON to stem quackery in the system to ensure that consumers get value for money they spent.

Oke said: “We are here to gain more knowledge and to join SON in the registration of all management system practitioners.

“We are going to partner with SON to ensure that the exercise is successful because we have a lot of companies practicing management systems that are not trained and competent.

“We are working together with SON to ensure that we remove all those incompetent people from the system.

“So that whenever a client approaches practitioners for registration, the client will know that he will not be shortchanged and get value for the money spent,” he said.

Oke said that the roles of system practitioners were vital in business growth and development.

He stressed that the system practitioners were responsible for taking companies through quality management systems certification, environmental management system certification, occupational health and safety certification and food management system certification.

“The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has established standards for all management systems.

“And, therefore, anyone that would lead companies to obtain this certification must be competent.

“This is why SON is regulating all the auditors, consultants and even, the certification bodies because we have some certification bodies coming from outside the country that are not competent, so competency is the key word here,” he said.

In her remarks, Patricia Solarin, a Consultant in the Quality Management System Practice, said that standardisation was germane for industrial development.

Solarin said: “There are so many briefcase-carrying consultants that are going around duping clients and most of these consultants did not even pass their audit test and examination.

“Without standardisation or regulations, it will be difficult to stop the quacks. A lot of companies are being shortchanged, because people taking them through certification do not really know much.

“So, SON is trying to register auditors and consultants, which is a welcome development to ensure that people get value for their hard money spent.”

She commended the leadership style of Salim for taking a bold step to tackle the challenges, urging the government to support SON to achieve greater feats.

Continue Reading


NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses



NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to addressing monetary and fiscal policy challenges stifling businesses.

The NECA Director-General,  Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde,  made the call in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, listing such challenges as foreign exchange dichotomy, fuel subsidies, multiple taxations, among others.

He made the call, just as he commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and government for embracing dialogue to avert the nationwide strike by the workers’ union earlier scheduled to start on March 29.

“The quick response by the government to ease the cash liquidity and the corresponding immediate positive effect on the economy demonstrated that it has the capacity to address policies once it is determined to do so.

“Therefore, we call for similar determination and consultative engagements with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to business challenges in order to facilitate competitiveness and productivity, “ he said.

He commended the efforts of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Labour and Employment for personally getting involved.

He also lauded them for monitoring the disbursement to ensure compliance with the bank’s directive to end the cash crunch, of which the economic nerve centre and other areas had started witnessing improvement.

“The CBN has shown goodwill and true support for the ailing economy by immediately disbursing cash to the commercial banks.

“Also, by directing the banks to open beyond their normal working hours to ease the cash crunch in the nation: an action which could have been averted in the first place, “ he said.

Oyerinde, however, warned that the ripple effects of the cash swap policy would linger as it would take considerable time for businesses, especially the informal sector, to recover.

He said that many of them had closed due to low purchasing power of consumers.

The NECA chief said that business activities had stagnated in the last 10 weeks of the implementation of redesigning of the currency policy nationwide.

He said this had led to reduced productive output, high inventory and jobs cut, and impediments to personal and business transactions.

Continue Reading


Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal



Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal

…Says laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman***

A Kogi High Court on Thursday declared the activities of the Kogi Transport Management Authority (KOTRAMA), as illegal.

Justice Clement Kekere of High Court 10 made the order while delivering judgment in a case instituted against the agency by an Abuja-based lawyer,  Mr. Martin Atojoko.

Kereke, who faulted the law establishing KATROMA.

“By the evidence before the court, I hereby order that the Law establishing the agency be set aside forthwith.

“This is because the law made by the state house of assembly contravenes the Provisions of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2007.

“In all, the laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman, and is established to cause hardship on motorists,” the judge held.

The judge also awarded the plaintiff, N100,000 as general damages against the agency.

Atojoko had sued KATROMA and joined the Kogi House of Assembly, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and the state government as second, third and fourth defendants in the matter.

Atojoko had prayed the court to compel the defendants to pay him N10 million as general and exemplary damages for inter-alia the first defendant’s unlawful and illegal action of detaining and impounding his car.

The plaintiff had told the court in his originating summon that on June 22, 2022, he was stopped by officers of KOTRAMA over an expired driver’s licence while they impounded his Toyota Corolla car.

“My lord, I only got my car back the next day, after paying N10,000 in fines, an action which is but a contravention of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Law of 2007, ” he said.

Atojoko thereafter prayed the court to issue an order declaring that the second defendant could not make laws empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corp (Establishment) Act, 2007 in inspecting the driver’s license of motorists, issued by the FRSC and codifying same in Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018.

“A declaration that all the provisions of the Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018, empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the FRSC in the inspection of the driver’s license of motorists as invalid, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab initio.

“An order that the KOTRAMA cannot fine the plaintiff and impound his vehicle with registration No. 2T1BU4EE9AC312480, without first trying him and finding him guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“An order that the act of the first defendant in impounding the vehicle and fining him without powers to do so is invalid, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void, ab initio,” he pleaded.

But KATROMA and other defendants through their Counsel, Mr. B.O. Obenege, had debunked the claims of the plaintiff and said that the agency acted within the ambit of the law that established it.

Obenege claimed that the house of assembly Law that established KOTRAMA was not a duplication of the FRSC Law of 2007.

He prayed the Court to hold that the action of KOTRAMA has not contravened the Kogi Law or any other law, and the claimant was given a summary fine of N10,000, all in accordance with Section 1(3) of the Law.

“In conclusion, we urge your lordship to dismiss the case for lack of merit,” Obenege had pleaded with the court.

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick