The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Monday the Federal Government spends N60 billion annually to repair and maintain vandalised oil and gas points in the country.
Mohammed, who disclosed this at a Town Hall Meeting on Protecting Oil and Gas Infrastructure in Abuja, said an average of 200,000 barrels of oil were lost per day to damage of pipelines.
The Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, and his Niger Delta Affairs counterpart, Godswill Akpabio were panelists at the forum while the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva, was represented at the event by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Melee Kyari.
The minister said: “Apart from the impact on the nation’s earnings, consider also the environmental problems caused by the incessant vandalism, in terms of freshwater pollution, air pollution, soil pollution etc., you will appreciate the enormity of the problem.”
He said with oil providing 80 percent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenues and 95 percent of foreign exchange earnings, the impact of the incessant destruction of oil pipelines on the economy was humongous.
Mohammed added: “To have railway tracks subjected to wanton destruction, bridge railings removed, manhole covers pilfered is antithetical to development.
“Having street lights and other power infrastructure, oil pipelines, telecoms facilities and critical aviation infrastructure damaged or stolen do not augur well for our growth and development.”
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