From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
A stakeholder in the oil sector, Apostle Romel Eric Emenike, who also doubles as the chairman of Nigerian Centenary Exhibition Committee, has said the stealing of crude oil at the creek is insignificant compared to the re-branded oil stealing called “topping” going on at Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
He argued that the illegal topping formula, which only benefits those at the top in NNPC and security personnel, is the major cause of the shortfall incurred.
Apostle Emenike made this statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital while addressing newsmen on the benefit of the upcoming Nigeria centenary celebration and how to tackle oil theft.
He noted that the issue of oil theft would become a thing of the past if only NNPC was ready to end the illicit business in the oil sector.
He said: “I don’t think NNPC is ready to fight oil theft because what is going on at the platform is the major oil theft not the stealing at the creek. If NNPC is serious let them stop the illegal business called topping, which is greatly affecting the economy.
“Topping is an indirect way of stealing, if somebody has a contract with NNPC to lift one million barrel of oil, he or she will now enter into illegal arrangement with NPPC and the security men to lift more than it was agreed. If they can end this stealing even the stealing at the creek will be insignificant.
“The only solution is for NNPC to come up with formidable metering mechanism to monitor the oil theft especially when the business of oil theft is being perpetrated at the platform,” he said.