Oil Barrel. Photo: PIXABAYTo curb oil theft challenges, there is a need for closer community engagement among critical stakeholders if the nation will effectively realise its revenue targets for the year, operators in the downstream sector have said.
The nation’s ability to earn substantial revenue from its oil and gas resources to finance its fiscal responsibility has been hampered by continued vandalisation of its assets as losses from attacks that have hit an average of 11,000 barrels per day from oil majors and at least $2 billion from the recurring Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) vandalism in the last four years.
The Group Managing Director of Nestoil Dr Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, however, called on the Nigeria Police to engage host communities deeply in developing strategies to protect Oil and gas installations across the country.
Dr Obiejesi was speaking in Lagos at the Senior Police Officers retreat with the theme Protecting Critical Oil and Gas Facilities in Nigeria – The Role of the Nigeria Police Force’.
Dr Azudialu said a deeper engagement with strategic and well-meaning stakeholders in the respective host communities could give the police a better clue on how to manage restiveness and oil theft.
“The Police need more training, more equipment, more Intelligence, and Surveillance infrastructure but these efforts need to be complemented with even more attention to the economic factors that fuel the criminal activities.
Community engagement must be holistic and must not be restricted to a few self-seeking and self-appointed leaders who continue to extort the oil companies without the monies trickling down to the ordinary people in the respective communities”, said Dr Azudialu-Obiejesi.
He also called for operators and other stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector to adopt and sign the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with host communities as a way of improving the social and infrastructural projects in the community.
Obiejesi said GMoU states clearly what is required of the oil operators and the communities, adding that it should be the benchmark for assessing the contributions of oil and gas operators to the communities.
He said petroleum continues to account for the largest chunk of public revenue, hence the security of the facilities and oil installations must be a top priority.