According to the Motion Sponsor, a 2020 report by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative ( NEITI) said crude oil theft amounting to over 600 million barrels, valued at $ 46.16 billion have occurred in the past decade.
The House of Representatives, at plenary on Wednesday, passed a motion seeking to investigate massive and pervasive oil theft and its attendant revenue loss in Nigeria.
Sponsor of the motion, Rep. Philip Agbese (APC Benue), in his debate, expressed worry over catastrophic consequences the activities of oil vandals and their alleged security collaborators are having on the nation’s revenue base.
Agbese noted that in recent times, the media has been replete with news on the loss of trillions of Naira as a result of crude oil theft and loss of revenue from Oil and Gas exploration in the country, adding that reports had it that a better part of the loss of crude oil is as a result on inaccurate measurement and theft.
“According to reports, 40 per cent of crude oil loss is due to inaccuracies in measurement and theft as metering errors continue to occur as a result of poor maintenance of metering facilities, thus resulting in a lack of transparency in hydrocarbon accounting.
He noted that reports also revealed that in 2021 alone, Nigeria lost $4 billion to this theft at the rate of 200,000 barrels per day, and the figures have risen since then.
The lawmaker also expressed concern over the alleged involvement of the Federal Government’s security agencies, who are allegedly largely responsible for facilitating this theft in the Niger Delta.
“Further concerned that the Nigerian military has been accused several times of being behind 99 percent of oil theft and despite promises to conduct proper investigations, no substantial action has been taken by the Federal Government to address the matters raised.”
Rep. Agbese equally informed the House that “a report in 2022, by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative ( NEITI), puts about 619.7 million barrels of crude oil, valued at $ 46.16 billion to have been stolen in the last 12 years, further stating that stakeholders have continuously described crude oil theft in the country as an organized crime perpetrated by the nation’s elite.”
The House subsequently resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter and to bring the culprits to book.
The committee is expected to submit its report in six weeks after constitution.