The group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mr. Mele Kyari, has raised the alarm that his life is in danger following some the critical reforms in the oil and gas sector, which appear to displace some cabal.
It will be recalled that in April, 2022, the NNPC boss described oil theft in recent times in as an elitist business, and called for Nigeria to establish special courts to try cases of oil theft.
Delivering a keynote address at the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Summit organised yesterday by Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Kyari stunned the audience with the allegation that, especially within the time of the recent onslaught against oil thieves in the creeks, he has received death threats from unknown quarters
Kyari said the NNPC in recent collaboration with government and private agencies, has discovered and destroyed thousands of illegal refineries in the last few months as well as connection on the main pipeline carrying crude to the terminal for export.
He however dismissed the threats to his life as a non issue because “every human being will die someday”.
According to him, in the last decade, crude oil theft has been massively executed by highly placed international thieves and unscrupulous government officials who act as collaborators.
Kyari said until recently, the ugly situation had been on the rise in Nigeria, leading to low output and declining revenue despite increased prices at the international market.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) recently said the country loses more than 115,000 barrels per day to oil theft and vandalism.
Although many parts of the Niger Delta, as well terminals of multinational oil companies, have become oil theft outlets, the most affected with drastic consequences, is the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP), a major pipeline capable of transporting about 180,000 barrels of crude per day.
Kyari pointed out that the NNPC, in collaboration with security agencies, has intensified the fight against oil theft by shutting down a significant number of illegal refineries in recent months.
The NNPC GCEO said the reformation in the sector comes with a “personal cost”. “Without mincing words, I want to say that this industry is on a threshold of change,” Kyari said.
“There is massive change going on and it is very expensive and of personal cost to many people including myself.
“There is a threat to life, I can say this. I have several death threats, but we are not bothered about this, we believe that no one dies unless it is his time.
“But this is the cost of change. When people move away from what they are used to, [to] something that is new, that will take away value and benefit from them, they will react.
“That reaction is benefit to all of us and we will work together to make sure it works out.”