Crude oil theft: ‘Treat stolen Nigerian oil as blood diamonds’ – Mele Kyari tells Int’l Community

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited has called on the international community to treat any Nigerian oil from unofficial channels the same way blood diamonds were treated in the recent past.

Speaking at the ‘Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum’ in New York, on Thursday, Kyari said the international community must collaborate with the Nigerian government to stop the illegal trade in Nigeria’s stolen crude oil abroad the same way it is criminalising stolen diamonds from Congo and Sierra Leone.

He said, “Oil theft is not very unique to Nigeria; many countries have dealt with it even in the very recent past but also required concerted international efforts, just like the world did for blood diamonds. The utilisation of stolen oil is not in our country, not even in Africa but out there, and the international community needs to support us to contend with this, because oil has traces; it has signatures”.

Kyari further said international buyers can tell where the oil they are buying is from, and they can compare that with the NNPCL sales record, and identify if the crude they are buying is stolen.

At the event, the NNPCL and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with international investors to build modular refineries in Nigeria, with each one capable of refining 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Kyari assured investors that Nigeria is safe and open for business in oil, and particularly gas, but insisted that such investors should join the country in its battle against oil theft.

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