The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has warned that increasing oil theft is forcing its members to lose jobs in Nigeria’s oil servicing industry.
This was disclosed by PENGASSAN President, Mr Festus Osifo, who made the call on Wednesday, in Abuja at a news conference heralding its new Advocacy Programme with the theme “Chasing Oil Thieves and Vandals out if Business”.
The Union urged FG to take immediate action on the criminality, warning that if no progress was seen, it would be forced to withdraw its workforce.
What PENGASSAN is saying
Osifo noted that due to oil theft, a lot of oil companies were shutting production and folding operations because they lacked sustenance and could not pay salaries.
“Our members are losing jobs in the service companies. Agip has literally shut down productions, Addax petroleum shut down its OML 124 completely, Total OML 58 has challenges and shut too, while SPDC was one of the worst hit as at today.
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“This is the first time in years the crude oil price is hitting the roof and risen astrometrically and crossing hundred dollars per barrel in the international market.
“When you shut in a single barrel, you shut in a hundred dollars, when you shut in 10,000 barrels, you shut in 10,000 multiplied by a hundred dollars,” Osifo said.
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The Union said it had earlier engaged the government including, captains of industry, security chiefs and agencies whereby it proffered some solutions to curb the menace including sanctions to be put in place for officials in charge.
Osifo added that they advocated the use of the latest technologies for pipeline surveillance and control room monitoring used globally, especially in Qatar and Saudi Arabia and others. Also, he said that 3% assigned for host communities to be increased to 5% while local chiefs should be empowered to monitor the channels before intended proactive measures.
“After the advocacy rally, our Central Working Committee will appraise the situation after one or two months, if there is no substantial or traceable progress made, the association may be forced to withdraw its workforce from productions.
“Government must wake up, we want to see tangible evidence and results. The rhetoric must stop. This is the time to practicalise the talks, government must develop muscle to tackle the menace,” he said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that the rising cases of oil theft which has affected Nigeria’s earning capacity in a period of high crude prices could be worse than imagined, as the Federal Government revealed that Nigeria is losing 400,000 barrels per day to crude theft.
This was disclosed by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Timipre Sylva. The minister added that the economic losses attributed to oil theft are capable of crippling Nigeria’s economy.