HURIWA urges Civil Society support in combatting crude oil theft


Mele Kyari

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has rallied civil rights organizations and non-governmental entities to join forces in solidarity with Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

HURIWA underscored the imperative for a united front against this pervasive menace as a call to action, stating that with a staggering 9,000 infractions recorded on oil pipelines within a single year, as revealed by Kyari, the scale of the challenge looms large, demanding a concerted response from all sectors of society.

“The recent disclosure by Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, revealing a staggering 9,000 infractions on oil pipelines within a single year, underscores the critical urgency for all members of the civil society in Nigeria to actively unite and offer unwavering support and solidarity. Our collective efforts are imperative to swiftly combat the scourge of crude oil theft and ensure its swift defeat.

“The visionary leadership of Mele Kyari and the NNPCL management, in their relentless pursuit of counter-crude oil theft strategies, has garnered commendation. However, the depth and breadth of the crisis necessitate a broader coalition, drawing from the moral authority and constitutional mandate vested in the Nigerian citizenry”, HURIWA advocated.

HURIWA, in a statement by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator, emphasized that their appeal for broad-based civil society and nationwide support and solidarity with the NNPCL in combating crude oil theft is firmly rooted in constitutional principles.

They highlighted Section 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which mandates citizens to actively uphold good governance standards, as the foundation of their call to action.

“Mele Kyari, speaking during an oversight function at the NNPC headquarters, revealed the extent of the challenge, with 6,465 illegal refineries deactivated and nearly 5,000 illegal pipeline connections removed. He acknowledged the daunting nature of the task, noting that despite efforts, the scale of infractions remains staggering, often escalating immediately after intervention.

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“Kyari stressed the centrality of security in addressing pipeline vandalism, underscoring NNPC’s collaboration with all security agencies and private security firms. Despite operational challenges, he affirmed the corporation’s capacity to exceed two million barrels per day but lamented the impact of crude oil theft on production targets, citing a drop to 1.1 million barrels per day in 2022.

“In conclusion, Kyari reiterated the urgent need for decisive action to avert further decline in production, attributing the shortfall primarily to crude theft. He underscored the interconnectedness of this issue with broader challenges facing the industry, emphasizing the imperative for concerted efforts to curb illicit activities and safeguard Nigeria’s oil resources”, HURIWA quoted.

In response to the crisis, HURIWA applauded Kyari’s unwavering resolve and patriotic fervour in confronting this hydra-headed monster of crude oil theft.

Moreover, the organization revealed ongoing deliberations with various stakeholders across civil society and non-governmental spheres to establish a national network of Civil Rights Bodies in Support of Combating Crude Oil Thefts.

“This collaborative endeavor seeks to harness the collective wisdom and resources of credible civil rights leaders, fostering a unified front against the scourge of crude oil theft. Through multifaceted dialogues and strategic advocacy initiatives, HURIWA aims to galvanize widespread support for the NNPCL’s endeavors, ensuring the realization of holistic objectives in the battle against this pernicious threat.

“In the face of adversity, unity becomes our greatest strength. Let us stand together, resolute in our commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s resources and upholding the principles of justice, equity, and prosperity for all,” HURIWA stressed.


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