Oil theft and pipeline vandalism are twin issues bedeviling the oil industry in Nigeria. Operators are worried about the huge loss involved as measures to tackle the menace to nip it in bud was deliberated on by stakeholders.
The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, (PGPA) Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Mr. Esimaje Brikinn emphasized the value of participatory partnerships in combating the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta. He made this known while contributing to a panel session on “Innovative Strategies – Combating Crude Oil Theft & Pipeline Vandalism” at the Nigerian Oil and Gas conference (NOG) in Abuja.
Brikinn stated that every IOC in Nigeria has been affected in one way or the other by the activities of oil thieves, engaging in illegal bunkering and local refining operations adding that their activities continue to cause significant damage to the environment and affect revenue streams leading to loss of benefits. “CNL evolved a proactive approach to combating the issue of oil theft and pipeline vandalism by involving relevant stakeholders including the government security forces, the relevant state governments and the Regional Development Committees (RDCs) under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), a community-driven multi-stakeholder participatory partnership model for community engagement and sustainable development in our areas of operations” he added.
The Chevron chief publicist explained that the platform known as the Community Pipeline and Facilities Surveillance Programme (CPFSP) with strong governance has become a model for enhancing the fight against oil theft and pipeline sabotage, enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaboration and providing sustainable social license for oil and gas operations.
In the thirteen years of its implementation, the GMoU has recorded significant achievements especially in areas of education, health, and economic development. The NNPC/CNL JV has contributed over N20.6billion to the RDCs to implement projects and programmes for about 600,000 beneficiaries in more than 400 communities.
Brikinn opined that “In terms of managing conflict and enhancing peace in communities, the GMoU story is one we are very proud to tell, and has resulted in very impressive footprints in various communities and the model has helped improve CNL’s relationship with its neighboring communities, as it created a clearer and more predictable channel for dialogue.”
He extolled the commitment of the traditional institutions, the government security forces, the community and RDC leaders for driving the multi-stakeholder collaboration for asset protection and stressed that CNL continues to work to strengthen relationship with these stakeholders. In his words, “The community leaders have shown great commitment to this process and has seen the connection between CNL’s operations and their livelihood. They understand that an enabling environment for our operations translates to continuous benefits to the communities in terms of our contributions to their socio-economic development.”
The multinational GMoU initiative acclaimed to be in the fore front of community relations in Nigeria, has brought relative peace in its areas of operations in the Niger Delta. Stakeholders have appraised CNL GMoU model which has enhanced community institutions as well.