Tony Elemelu raises alarm over economic sabotage by oil thefts

Olubunmi Martins

…claims businesses are suffering

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Banking Group and Heirs Holdings has raised alarm over worsening energy and economic crisis amid outages in electricity for five days running, hikes in the price of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel, persistent vandalisation of pipelines and rising level of inflation.

He made this call on Thursday on his official twitter page, calling on Nigerians and members of the corporate business community to speak up, insisting that “evil prevails when good people are silent.”

According to him, concerned Nigerians need to be vocal about 2023 as fresh election of political leadership draws near. “Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver. In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development.”

Elemelu who is one of Nigeria’s leading economic stakeholder with interests spanning oil and gas , electricity , banking and other critical sectors of the country’s economic expressed sadness that businesses are suffering and Nigeria is losing 95% of oil production to economic sabotage of oil installations.

He particularly bemoaned the activities of oil thieves on Bonny terminal, alleging that they are stealing over 197,000 barrels of Bonny light premium brand daily, leaving the country with 3,000 barrels of oil instead.

He said, “This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face everyday in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse – no electricity for 5 days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation and the list of woes seems endless.

“How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90% of its citizens living in hardship and poverty? I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking about security ? Our people are afraid!

“ Businesses are suffering. How can we be losing over 95% of oil production to thieves? Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200,000 t barrels of crude oil daily, instead, it receives less than 3,000 barrels, compelling the Operator Shell to declare force majeure.

“It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple!

“Meanwhile, other oil-producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserve is rising. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable!” he said.

While calling on Nigerians to demand and advocate for leaders that will deliver the country from this economic woes in 2023 elections, Chairman of Heirs Holding said,“Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development. Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority.

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