Mele Kyari, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, has called on the international community to join Nigeria in its battle against oil theft.
Kyari made this call while speaking at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York on Thursday.
Kyari stated that investors should treat any Nigerian oil from unofficial channels the same way blood diamonds were treated in the recent past.
“Oil theft is not very unique to Nigeria, many countries have dealt with it even in the very recent past but also required concerted international efforts, just like the world did for blood diamonds,” he said.
“I think this is a very good opportunity to request that at the level of diplomats, that the honourable minister of foreign affairs take this to that level [for countries] to label any theft of oil from Nigeria coming to the market as blood oil.
“That’s surely a short-term issue: we know that many things are going wrong in our country today concerning this situation. But despite this, we would continue selling to the international community. The utilisation of stolen oil is not in our country, not even in Africa, but out there and the international community needs to support us to contend with this because oil has traces, oil has signatures.”
Kyari stated that international buyers can tell where the oil they are buying is from, and they can compare that with the NNPCL sales record, and identify if the crude they are buying is stolen.
“[Stolen oil] can be told, we have put up structures to make sure that it can be identified clearly on our webpages that we have created, you can always validate the product and sales that are from us,” he added.
“More than anything else, you know, we are also implementing the advanced goods declaration process which is a requirement anywhere in the world, and once that works out, the rest is support from the international community.”