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Nigeria Loses ₦16.25 Trillion to Crude Oil Theft in 11 Years, Says Speaker

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Nigeria Loses ₦16.25 Trillion to Crude Oil Theft in 11 Years Says Speaker

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, disclosed on Thursday that Nigeria had incurred massive losses amounting to ₦16.25 trillion due to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020. He made this revelation during the inauguration of an ad hoc committee tasked with investigating crude oil theft and revenue loss, held in Abuja.

 

Abbas emphasized that the detrimental impact of crude oil theft had severely hindered the nation’s oil production growth. He estimated that Nigeria faces daily losses ranging from five to thirty percent of its crude oil production due to this menace.

 

Moreover, he expressed disappointment that key agencies within the oil and gas sector, such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, failed to respond to invitations for engagement on this critical issue.

 

Representing the speaker, Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Al-Hassan Ado-Doguwa, cautioned that unless decisive action is taken to combat crude oil theft, the country could plunge into a deeper fiscal crisis. This is especially worrisome considering the declining revenues from the oil and gas sector.

 

Citing data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Abbas highlighted a significant decrease in Nigeria’s oil production, which plummeted from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020. He added that NEITI’s records indicated that a staggering 619 million barrels of crude, valued at $46 billion, were stolen between 2009 and 2020.

 

Furthermore, Nigeria has consistently failed to meet its daily production quota as set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Despite a reduction in Nigeria’s OPEC quota to 1.38 million barrels per day from 1.742 million barrels per day, the country’s daily production output in May and June 2023 stood at 1.184 million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day, respectively. These figures significantly deviate from the budgeted assumption of 1.69 million barrels per day, exacerbating the country’s economic crisis.

 

Abbas stressed that Nigeria is grappling with a profound fiscal crisis, exacerbated by global uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic’s aftermath and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

 

In response, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Al-hassa Runrum, expressed deep concern over the colossal losses incurred due to oil theft and their debilitating impact on the economy. He underscored the committee’s determination to swiftly address this issue, describing it as a breach of national security and sovereignty.

 

Runrum further emphasized that such acts of sabotage on the nation’s assets and security must not be tolerated, especially when the nation’s pride and well-being are at stake. The committee is committed to ending this detrimental trend to secure a brighter future for Nigeria’s citizens.

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