Refiners Group says Stakeholders Are Involved in Niger-Delta Illicit Oil Trade
“Sunday’s use of the word “stakeholder” is a cryptic reference to government security agencies in the region. “We are concerned that some individuals, agencies, organisations are setting up task force and committees with the sole aim and intent of aiding and abetting illegal oil refining, theft, and pipeline vandalism”.
Domestic Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (DROAN), a Niger-Delta oil refiners group, has alleged that industry stakeholders, including persons and firms, are involved in the flourishing illicit refining of stolen crude oil in the region. Some of the stakeholders participate by negotiating a commission with criminals involved in the trade.
Godwin Sunday, DROAN’s national chairman, disclosed during a media address that held Saturday in Uyo that the stakeholders’ strike deals with illegal refiners to conceal their activities and be paid a commission on the illicit trade.
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Sunday’s use of the word “stakeholder” is a cryptic reference to government security agencies in the region.
“We are concerned that some individuals, agencies, organisations are setting up task force and committees with the sole aim and intent of aiding and abetting illegal oil refining, theft, and pipeline vandalism.
“Government at all levels should investigate the activities of these individuals and organisations. We condemn it in its totality. We also call on the entire people of the Niger Delta to condemn this unpatriotic act.”
Illicit oil refining alongside related practices like crude oil and products theft as well as oil smuggling and diversion is robbing Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, of huge revenue. According to Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Nigeria recorded a $42 billion loss in the decade to 2018 as a result of the activities of criminal gangs involved in oil theft and the well-established trade in stolen Nigerian crude.
“While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000-250,000 bpd, data from private studies estimate the figure to be between 200,000-400,000 bpd. This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals”, the industry watchdog said in a report.
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“We are appealing to the federal government to fulfil its own promise of establishing modular refineries in the nine states of the Niger Delta and integration of illegal refiners (kpo fire boys in the local parlance) into the mainstream petroleum sector to curb further environmental degradations, pipeline vandalism, illegal refining, and youth restiveness,” Sunday said.
Sunday said some members of DROAN had been involved in the illicit refining of crude but were persuaded by government’s promise to support them in legal refining activities. He expressed the hope that the government will fulfill its own side of the bargain.