Crude oil theft and related pipeline sabotage has resulted in significant losses for Nigeria, one of Africa’s biggest economies
The former President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Dr. Brown Ogbeifun, has said that except oil theft is stopped Nigeria’s economy may collapse.
He made this known at the first maiden edition of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) energy and labour summit held on Monday in Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja
Ogbeifun said that the rate of oil theft if not addressed will continue to be a disincentive to investors.
He stated that crude oil theft in Nigeria seemed to be taken as a way of life, as he said they (the thieves) are often called ” big boys” in the society.
He wondered why oil thieves are not punished and sanctioned like other criminals in the country, saying unless the people say enough is enough, Nigeria may not come out of the present economic woes.
” We worship those who have the money, but never mind how they got the money”, he said.
While noting that the situation was discomforting, Ogbeifun said Nigeria might not come out of the oil theft trap, which he says seems to have been taken as a way of life.
“Between 2021 and 2022, Nigeria lost the sum of $1.2 billion to oil theft. The economy is in intensive care unit. No refinery can operate successfully without experiencing lack,”
He further added that with energy transition issues gaining traction, it is important that the country maximize its oil revenue as Nigeria still needs money from oil to transit.
Also speaking Prof Osten Olorunsola in his presentation on Energy Transition and the PIA, it’s effect on the Nigerian Oil &Gas Workers, noted that Nigeria would suffer as global economies continue to place emphasis on decarbonization.
Speaking earlier, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Dr Bala Wunti, discussed the need for PENGASSAN’s workforce to remain relevant for the challenged future, in the light of energy transition.
Speaking as the Lead Panelist on “Positioning the Nigerian Energy Industry and Its workforce for the Future,”Wunti challenged the association to strive to acquire more leadership skills, media and IT literacy, problem solving techniques and business developments among others.
“The future starts today, and because it starts today, you need to secure your place, recreate yourselves and understand what tomorrow holds for us.
“With combination of Innovation, technology, expertise and trust, you have secured your position into the global energy future leaders,” he said.
Reacting to the theme: ‘Energy Transition and its effect on the workforce in the Nigeria Oil and Gas sector’, Wunti said Nigeria had already planned to achieve energy sufficiency by 2026 and attain net-zero emission by 2060.
Earlier speaking, the National President, PENGASSAN Comr.Festus Osifo, in an opening remark, said the call for action in view of energy transition had made several oil and gas companies to migrate to energy companies to suit current realities hence moved their investments to renewable energy related projects.
Osifo said most of these investments had gone to the area of research and developments of solar energy, hydrogen, hydro biomass, biofuels and wind energy among others.
He added that it was on this background that it organised the summit which aimed at brainstorming on how the transition would be best sailed and how it could affect the workforce.
“We hope that the summit will reveal what the workforce in the oil and gas industry will do to remain relevant tomorrow, the new skills and trainings needed, collaborations required with government in achieving smooth transition.
“The summit will still incorporate expert discussions on crude oil theft and contract staffing in the industry and how women can optimally impact the industry to the benefit of all,” he said.
He assured the gathering that PENGASSAN under his leadership will remain committed to promoting the ideals of the forbearers, adding that PENGASSAN will remain key nation-builders and advocates of policies that serve the general good.