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Imo State: Vandalization Forcing Oil Company to Produce Below Capacity amids Eco Destruction Worries

Nigeria is known to be heavily dependent on the production and export of crude oil to generate revenue. According to Global edge, a knowledge database managed by Michigan State University, Oil and Gas provides 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 80% of Nigeria’s budgetary revenue.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s security architecture has been unable to meet the security needs of the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Aside from the pollution unleashed on the environment, oil pipe line  vandalization has negatively impacted the crude oil production of Antan Producing Nig. Ltd at Izombe in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State from 4000bpd to 1500bpd.

In February 2023, Antan Producing Nig. Ltd took over the assets of Addax Petroleum Development Nig. Ltd which included the oil bloc (OML124), following NNPC termination of its Production-Sharing Contract with Addax.

Olufemi Adebayo of Antan Producing Nig. Ltd, disclosed this when the officials of Imo State Government led by the Commissioner for Niger Delta Affairs Prince Henry Okafor visited the company. He lamented that the vandalization of pipelines had been hampering the company’s production.

Okafor insisted that the State Government is doing its best to provide a conducive environment for oil companies to achieve optimal production, which in turn, would boost the 13% revenue derivation coming to the state.”

Okafor appealed to the management of Antan Producing Ltd to increase its electricity output at the flow station and make some of it available to the host communities to relieve pressure on the national grid.

Adebayo, speaking for Antan Producing Ltd, said that “the OML124 currently has the capacity to produce over 4000bpd, but due to the vandalization of their flow lines within Njaba, Izombe, Orsu-obodo and Ebocha axis, the oil bloc was struggling to merely produce 1500bpd.”

This disturbing trend of economic sabotage by oil vandals underscores the daily lamentation of Nigerian citizens with regard to insecurity and the lack of adequate policing of most communities.

Nigeria is a federal republic whose constitution runs contrary to practices that define federalism. Global best practice in federalism requires that federating units manage and control policing within their domains. In other words, Imo State ought to have their State Police and also Local Government Police that understand the security terrain of their communities and that can adequately protect lives and property.

It has been argued that most states in Nigeria cannot afford to pay the current wages of their civil servants let alone add the responsibility of policing to them. This takes us back to the need for Nigeria to practice true federalism. In this case, every state also controls and manages its resources, as against the anti-federalism practice of the Nigerian government which usurps the supposed powers of her federating units.

Were Imo State controlling and managing its resources, it would have enough resources to adequately fund policing as well as contribute some percentage of its revenue to the Federal government. Going forward, Nigerians should find a way to revert to the original constitutional framework that formed the basis of uniting the many ethnic nationalities that made up the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

IMAGE: Oil Now

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