The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the nation lost about 22 million barrels of its crude oil production to oil theft between January and June 2019.
Mr Obaseki disclosed this in a statement issued by Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation( NNPC) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that if nothing was done to curtail the ugly trend, the figure could double by the end of the year.
The governor, also the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee of the National Economic Council on Crude Oil Theft spoke at a stakeholders meeting which held at the NNPC towers.
He said the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism were beginning to pose a threat to the nation’s economy.
The governor called on stakeholders to join forces and work towards eradicating the menace of crude oil theft that is currently on an upward swing in the country.
It would be recalled that the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for June revealed a staggering 77 per cent rise in cases of oil pipeline vandalism across its network of pipeline infrastructure.
According to the report, 106 pipeline points are breached, representing an alarming increase from the 60 points vandalised in May 2019.
The meeting had in attendance the group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Police, Navy, Army, Civil Defence, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and some indigenous operators.