PENGASSAN sounds the alarm as vandalism wreaks havoc on national assets | The Guardian Nigeria News



150 illegal taps force operators to stop their activities

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Executives Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has sounded the alarm over the rising rate of vandalism, lamenting that the threat is weighing heavily on the country’s assets.

Oil workers revealed that between October 2021 and February 2022, between 90 and 99 percent of crude oil pumped into the Trans National Pipeline (TNP) by operators was vandalized.

Addressing a State of the Nation press conference yesterday, PENGASSAN Chairman Festus Osifo in the presence of his national officers said that the theft of crude oil has caused Nigeria to lose more revenue through the current high price of crude oil on the international market. .

He said recent preliminary work showed that around 150 illegal taps were used to siphon crude oil from the TNP.

This, he said, has forced all operators injecting crude into the PNT to suspend export/injection, thereby halting production.

He cited examples of TotalEnergies and SPDC shutting down production in the TNP pipeline while Agip ENI declared force majeure at their Brass terminal.

While the country currently produces an average of 1.2 to 1.3 million barrels of crude oil per day from a capacity of around two million crude oil barrels per day, PENGASSAN, requested the federal government, urgently, to work with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry as well as the national security architecture to find a lasting solution to the threat that has nearly brought the oil and gas industry to its knees.

As workers expect pipeline integrity to be strong enough to allow safe transportation of crude and products across the country, the union has urged the government to set up a special force engaged in the strict enforcement of the pipeline right-of-way.

The union urged that security agencies be empowered to carry out regular surveillance of pipelines to detect and prevent acts of vandalism, while there should be periodic movements of personnel to discourage them from compromising the security of assets.

He called on the government to review the legal instruments to sanction offenders/defaulters.

We expect that the installation of pipelines can now be done using state-of-the-art technology in a way that will be inaccessible to vandals. We expect pipeline managers to embrace the culture of regular maintenance as government assumes its responsibility to ensure adequate safety.

Among other issues of national importance, the union said it was sad that years after the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigerians have yet to feel the impact of the corporate legions created from it, rather, citizens are subject to serial network collapse and blackout.

He called on the federal government to immediately review the privatization of power generation companies and distribution companies as operating companies have become more of a burden on the nation.

According to her, as a matter of urgency, the entire electricity sector must be unbundled and the production, transmission and distribution of electricity must be moved from the exclusive list to the competitive list.

He expressed sadness that the Nigerian economy still faces many serious challenges, ranging from structural imbalance to poor coordination between macro and microeconomic policies and lack of convergence in fiscal and monetary policies.

On the way forward, oil workers urged the government to take decisive action to address the myriad issues plaguing the economy and the suffering of Nigerians.

The union argued that the government cannot continue to play politics with significant issues affecting Nigerians as the dire state of the economy pushes citizens into social vices and creates more national threat.

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