Erstwhile Group General Manager in charge of Research and Development division at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC), Mr Benjamin Obaigbena, has called on the federal government to deploy technology in solving the perennial theft of the nation’s crude oil.
Making his views known in a treatise on Wednesday, the ex-NNPC top shot estimated that Nigeria would have saved as much as $20 billion if it had deployed technology when the problem started years ago.
He expressed surprise that Nigeria has just woken up from what he described as its heavy inertia to know that the country is losing substantial volume of crude oil to oil theft and bunkering, insisting that the activities of the criminals are as old as the oil industry.
Obaigbena noted that Nigeria cannot claim ignorance of the astronomical volume of oil theft for the past 50 years, maintaining that it deliberately “let loose the baby tiger into the wild” which has now matured to a monstrous size and sophistication to evade being caught or detected.
The retired NNPC employee disclosed that if the federal government had heeded and implemented a presentation made years ago for the use of technology to solve the problem, the challenge would have been reduced to the barest minimum today.