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Highly-placed Nigerians involved in crude oil theft – NNPC boss, Kyari



•NNPC GMD Mele Kyari

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said yesterday that high placed Nigerians, including religious, community leaders and government officials,  were fully involved in crude oil theft.

He also said the entire network of pipelines for petroleum products distribution in the country had been deliberately shut down as a result of the activities of vandals and also because the refineries were not operating as a business but incurring losses, adding that Nigeria would stop fuel importation in 2023.

Speaking when he featured at the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the State House, Kyari said the authorities of the NNPC borrowed $1billion from  AFREXIM Bank to put in place the refineries, adding that the management of the company was confident that it was restoring the company for about 90 per cent efficiency.

He noted further that repayment of the borrowed money was tied to the productivity of the refineries, just as he boasted that NNPC would deliver on the rehabilitation exercise.

While disclosing that the company has discovered that stolen products were warehoused in churches and mosques with the knowledge of all members of the society where the incidents occurred, including the clerics, the NNPC boss said various law enforcement agencies had arrested at least 122 persons involved in the nefarious pipeline vandalism and oil theft from April to August 2022.

According to him, wherever the petroleum products have gone, everybody seems to have become some sort of vandal and that beyond the issue of vandalism, the pipelines had also aged necessitating their shut down.

Kyari noted, however, that the company has decided to come up with a new pipeline management system that would enable them be put to use for distribution of products in the country.

He also justified the government’s recent move to hire private entities to safeguard the network of oil pipelines crisscrossing the country, claiming that in one instance, at least 295 illegal connections were spotted on a 200km stretch of pipeline.“

Kyari said:  “As you may be aware, because of the very unfortunate acts of vandals along our major pipelines from Atlas Cove, all the way to Ibadan, and all others connecting all the 37 depots that we have across the country, none of them can take delivery of products today.

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“The reason is very simple. For some of the lines, for instance, from Warri to Benin, we haven’t operated for 15 years. Every molecule of product we put gets lost. You remember the sad fire incident close to Sapele that killed so many people, we had to shut it down and as we speak, we have a high level of losses on our product pipeline.

“You remember Lagos, when a fire outbreak happened on one of our pipelines, we discovered that some of the pipelines were actually connected to individual’ homes. And not only that, with all sensitivity to our religious beliefs, some of the pipelines and some of the products that we found are in churches and mosques.

On the deliberate shut down of pipelines conveying petroleum products across theft-prone areas, he said:  “When we say we are losing several 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day, we mean it. This is opportunity lost. There is no company that will produce oil and then you lose 80 per cent of that and continue to produce the oil.

“So, we deliberately shut down the pipelines whenever we see these infractions getting to a limit that we cannot manage. So that means as we speak to today, we know for sure, there’s at least 700,000 barrels that we could have produced that we can’t because we cannot guarantee the safety of the pipeline,” Kyari explained.

The NNPC chief said the government’s response to oil theft had led to the arrest of 122 persons between April and August, 2022.

According to him, security operatives discovered 342 illegal oil reservoirs, 355 cooking pots, 959 metal tanks, 37 trucks, 452 dugout pits, 737 oven, boats and 179 wooden boats, 30 speed boats and 11 vessels used by vandals to perform their nefarious activities in the oil producing regions of the Niger Delta.

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“This has led to the recovery/destruction of 35.8 million litres of crude oil, 22 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 150,000 litres of petrol and 760,000 litres of kerosene within the five months under review.

Asked if the company will name the culprits, he said:   “I told you that there are 122 arrests. It is not the NNPC that will make announcements of criminals and culprits. But I know that names exist. They will be named, but the most important thing to do is to prosecute them and show to the world that it is wrong to do this.

“It’s for us to follow through and make sure there is prosecution and whilst they’re prosecuted, they will be lined up and everybody will see them, no matter who they are.”

Fielding questions on the recent contract between the Federal Government and a former Niger Delta agitator, Government Ekpemupolor, aka Tompolo, Kyari noted that it was the “right decision” to hire private contractors to protect NNPC pipelines.

He argued that although the security agencies were doing their part, end-to-end pipeline surveillance would require private entities and community.

He said:  “Part of the security intervention we’re doing is end-to-end. What we did is, first, to ensure the government security agencies play their part. We have our navy, army and Department of State Services, DSS, they’re doing an excellent job of containing this. But sustenance is everything.

“Therefore, we decided that we need private contractors to man the right of way and also operate outside the right of way, so they can join us to manage members of the community. And we don’t have access to that.

“We put up a framework where contractors were selected through a tender process for people who can do it. And Tompolo was just mentioned. We’re dealing with corporate entities. He may have interests in the company, but we’re not dealing with Tompolo. But we know that he has interest in that company.

“We know that we’re engaging all other individuals who will be of help to us in this situation. This has happened over time. And the end result was that it was contained under a process like this and we believe  we have taken the right decision.

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The NNPC boss also insisted that with the kick off of operations at the Dangote Oil Refinery early next year, the country will cease importing petrol by mid-2023.

He said:  “This is very practical. This is possible. As a matter of fact, when we are done with our own refineries and the Dangote refinery and other small initiatives that we are doing small, modular, condenser refineries that we’re building, if that happens, and we’re very optimistic it will happen, you will see that this country will now be a net exporter.

“The flow of supply will change by the middle of next year. So, you will have no need for importation of petroleum products into this country by the middle of next year.”

The NNPC CEO said beyond the issue of vandalism, the pipelines had also aged, necessitating their shut down.

He said: “Boards of companies are always appointed by shareholders. Shareholders are always represented, this is typical. If anyone here owns a company, just go and try to incorporate a company, they will tell you that you must have shareholders, those shareholders will appoint the Board of those companies.

“Whenever you dilute interests, even if it is 10% interest in these companies, that right for government to appoint vanishes automatically, it now becomes a matter for the shareholders, which includes private owners of this company.

“So this will come, not in today’s context, we are transiting, but as soon as you hear we’re ready for IPO, it’s all over, the Board will be appointed by the shareholders, which will include private equity holders.”

Kyari announced that the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the NNPCL will be ready by the middle of next year following which its shares will be sold to interested prospective shareholders.

He said every necessary arrangement was being put in place to achieve the objective. (Vanguard)

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EFCC decries rise in fake dollars circulation, cyber crime in Benue



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has decried the sudden rise of fake dollars and cyber crimes in Benue axis.

Its Acting Chairman, Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol, who disclosed this on Thursday in Makurdi, said that the commission had taken measures to address the situation.

The EFCC chairman spoke during a workshop on “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes,” organised for 30 journalists of major media organisations in the country.

Chukkol was represented by the Head of Makurdi Zonal Office of EFCC, Mr Friday Ebelo.

He said the primary aim of the commission was to reduce corruption in the country to barest level, and would continue to discharge its duties effectively and professionally.

“Through the commission’s enforcement activities, recoveries running into several billions of naira have been recorded and the country’s anti-money laundering framework strengthened.

“There is now a more robust regulation of the activities of these entities which are vulnerable to money laundering,” he added.

The EFCC chairman warned people against disclosing their bank details to anybody to avoid its being used for illegal financial deals.

“I will like the media to educate family members, friends, politicians and others that they run the risk of going to jail if they allow their companies or banks accounts to be used to launder proceeds of illegal activities.

“Under the Money Laundering Act, 2022 family members and close allies of politicians and public office holders, including top civil servants, are now classified as Politically Exposed Persons.

“The EFCC is determined to ensure that anyone who steals from public treasury and all those who assist them under whatever guise, are brought to justice, and ignorance of the law will not be an excuse,” he said.

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Chukkol said that the commission had recorded 3,785 convictions in 2022, the highest since its establishment.

He said that the Makurdi Zonal Office, which was established in 2019, has so far recorded 107 convictions. (NAN)

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Akwa Ibom tribunal affirms Governor Eno’s victory, dismisses ADC, NNPP’s petitions



• Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo has discarded the petition brought before it by the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ezekiel Nyaetok, challenging the election of Pastor Umo Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The tribunal had earlier thrown out suit number EPW/AKS/GOV/03/23, brought by the governorship candidate of the NNPP, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, challenging the election of the governor.

Among other grounds, Nyaetok of ADC sought the disqualification of Pastor Umo Eno, alleging that he was convicted by a Magistrate Court in Abuja and that having been convicted, all votes accrued to him during the March 18 elections ought to be nullified.

He also challenged other candidates who scored more votes than him, alleging that they were handicapped by litigations and legal bars which hampered their eligibility to participate in the elections.

But delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Adekunle Adeleye chaired the panel and unanimously ruled that the same magistrate court presided by Emeka Iyama, delivered a judgment, nullifying its earlier conviction of Pastor Umo Eno and that once a judgement is nullified, it ceases to exist.

The tribunal also held that Nyaetok’s petition lacked merit as the petitioner was not able to establish one polling unit in which there was noncompliance with the electoral law in the March 18 Governorship elections.

After about one hour and thirty minutes of detailed and considered judgement, the governorship election panel, in a unanimous decision concluded that the petition by Senator John James Akpanudoedehe and his party against Gov Umo Bassey Eno, the PDP, and INEC deserves no less a verdict than a dismissal for lacking in merit.

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The governorship election petition by the former senator followed the defective trajectory of two previous cases dismissed by the tribunal two weeks ago, by virtue of the attempt to resurrect the subject matter of certificate forgery leveled against Governor Eno, which was previously buried by the Supreme Court.

Counsel to the PDP had told the tribunal that the petition was “most unambitious”, as the Petitioners neglected and or refused to declare what they really wanted.

Akpanudoedehe of the NNPP had in his arguments claimed that Gov. Umo Eno was a convict by the Wuse Magistrate Court, Abuja, thereby robbing him of the qualification to have contested the March 18, 2023 governorship election.

He prayed the Tribunal to order that the election be cancelled, and a fresh one conducted within 90 days.

He also alleged that the Governor was born in Enugu, even though he declined to show proof of this claim as he neither front-loaded nor relied upon any document to back it.

Surprisingly, of the over 5000 voting units in the state, the NNPP candidate called only 2 witnesses with himself as one of the two.

Under cross-examination, the NNPP gubernatorial candidate admitted, when shown the enrolled order of the Wuse Magistrate Court repudiating its judgement orders, that he lacked knowledge of the existence of the order before his petition.

Counsel to the PDP and Pastor Umo Eno had noted in their submission that the NNPP petition is most unambitious, as the petitioner has not only failed to prove the criminal allegation of forgery but also failed to state what he wants.

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The tribunal, presided over by Justice Adekunle Adeleye, ruled that lacking in merit, the petition had to be confined to the trashcan.

Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the PDP, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem said the judgement was in strong agreement with the point of law.

Enoidem said the petitioners failed to prove that Pastor Umo Eno did not meet the constitutional entry requirements for office of the Governor, adding that most of their claims were pre-election matters which they could not also substantiate.

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NDDC Invites Applications for 2023/2024 Foreign Post Graduate Scholarship




The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has announced the commencement of the application process for its 2023/2024 Foreign Post Graduate (Masters) Scholarship Programme.

This marks a significant stride in the Commission’s unwavering commitment to fostering human resource development and empowerment of the youths in the Niger Delta region.

Aiming to cultivate empowerment and specialization, this initiative is designed to equip the vibrant minds of the region with indispensable skills and training. The goal is to facilitate their meaningful participation in the Federal Government’s local content programme and to enable them to excel in various professional disciplines, enhancing their global competitiveness.

Diverse Opportunities for Study:
The programme offers a broad spectrum of fields, including diverse engineering disciplines like Biomedical, Software, and Marine, and cutting-edge domains such as Artificial Intelligence and Math/Sciences. Opportunities also extend to Health and Social Sciences, with options in Medical Sciences and Law, as well as Environmental and Physical Sciences, including Architecture and Environmental Science.

Eligibility and Application:
Eligibility is reserved for individuals originating from the Niger Delta Region, possessing relevant Bachelor’s Degrees with commendable classifications from recognized institutions. Prospective candidates are invited to submit their applications online through our official website [](, with the application window closing five weeks from the date of this announcement.

Rigorous Selection Process:
Candidates will undergo a comprehensive selection process, including preliminary shortlisting, a computer-based test in Rivers State, and final verification through respective Local Government Areas and Community Development Committees. The scholarship amount will be determined based on the prevailing exchange rate of the Naira.

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For detailed information on application procedures, required documentation, and other relevant aspects, applicants are encouraged to visit []( Further enquiries can be directed to:

Director, Education, Health and Social Services, NDDC
Mobile: +234(0)9137806550, +234(0)9049409391

The NDDC remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative, and politically harmonious. We extend our sincere best wishes to all applicants and eagerly anticipate welcoming the scholars who will contribute to shaping a brighter future for the region.

Pius Ughakpoteni
Director, Corporate Affairs
September 28, 2023.

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