Crude Oil Theft: Nigeria lost $46 billion in 11 years – Abbas

Gaddafi IbrahimSeptember 7, 20234 min

The Speaker said despite enormous resources that have already been committed to curbing the issue of crude oil theft, the menace has continued unabated.

Irepodun

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas (APC, Kaduna), has said that Nigeria has lost about $46 billion (N16.25 trillion) to crude oil theft between 2009 to 2020.

The Speaker spoke while inaugurating the ad hoc committee saddled with the responsibility of investigating crude oil theft and loss of revenue on Thursday.

He lamented that the menace has largely hampered the growth of the country’s oil production, with Nigeria losing between 5 to 30 percent of daily crude oil production.

Represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Rep. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC Kano), the speaker warned that if consequential actions were not taken to address the issue, the country might be thrown into a more profound fiscal crisis due to dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector.

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According to him, data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), shows Nigeria’s oil production declined from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020, adding that Nigeria has continually failed to meet its daily production quota as set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“Nigeria’s OPEC quota was reduced from 1.742 million barrels per day to 1.38 million barrels per day. Yet, the country is still struggling to meet this quota as daily production output was 1.184 million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day in May and June 2023 respectively.

“On average, current daily production output is a far cry from the budget assumption of 1.69 million per day. The implication is clearly manifest in the economic crisis that the country is facing.

Expressing concern over the economic crisis the country faces, the Speaker also said that global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has continued to cast a dark cloud of uncertainty on the oil and gas industry in the country.

“While the average international price for Brent crude oil has hovered slightly above the set benchmark price since January, Nigeria’s daily oil production has performed poorly due to a number of reasons.

“It is common knowledge that investment in the oil and gas sector has declined in the past few years owing to global financing constraints and the overall response to energy transition considerations.

“However, we must agree that the greatest challenge to optimizing crude oil production in Nigeria is the grand scale oil theft that has plagued the sector for the past 2 decades.

“NEITI provides yearly updates on the amount of crude oil stolen or lost through sabotage. Yet, the menace of oil theft has continued unabated despite the enormous resources already committed to addressing it,” the speaker stated.

In his remark, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Alhassan Usman Rumrum (NNPP, Kano), said the volume of losses caused by oil theft in the country as well as its associated impact on the economy is completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by any government that sincerely loves its citizens.

He said “The way and manner this act of sabotage and breach on our national security and sovereignty is carried out daily makes a caricature of our pride as a nation and even a mockery of the acclaimed status of our armed forces. It is an affront to the government and its institutions, which must be tackled without further delay. It is in the light of these that the House constituted this committee and is determined to bring this ugly trend to an end.”

Meanwhile, a representative of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Alabi Abiodun, informed that the police has put in place a task force to assist other security agencies in arresting those attacking oil facilities, adding that perpetrators of the act be handed over to the Nigerian police to prosecute them effectively.

 

 

Gaddafi Ibrahim

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