In September this year, the Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mele Kyari, expressed deep worries about the troubling spate of crude oil theft in Nigeria, which undermines Nigeria’s production capacity.
He blamed sectors of the Nigerian system for being guilty in stealing millions of barrels of crude oil, stating that the rusty pipelines and stolen fuel were discovered in churches and mosques.
Oil theft is equivalent to country’s external reserves Premium Times reports that between January and July, Nigeria lost an average of 437,000 barrels of oil daily to criminal elements who tap pipelines onshore and offshore in the Niger Delta area.
When calculated at today’s prices, the oil theft is more than $10 billion, an equivalent of N4.3 trillion. The loss is 50 more than Nigeria’s external reserves, double more than Nigeria’s total revenue from January to April 2022.
NEITI: Nigeria lost $2.77bn to crude oil theft in 2019 In 2019, Nigeria lost 42.25 million barrels of crude oil valued at $2.77 billion, according to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Vanguard reporting stated that the report on Oil and Gas was presented to the media and CSOs in Lagos. The report revealed that Nigeria earned $34.22 billion from the oil and gas sector in 2019, representing a 4.88 per cent increase over the 32.63 billion realised the year before.
The 2019 estimates cover 98 entities, including 88 oil and gas firms, nine government agencies and the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Company. A BBC report cited a network of illegal oil pipelines discovered in Nigeria’s Niger Delta area, which revealed the extent of theft in the country.
The discoveries shocked many about the extent of oil theft in Nigeria, which has deprived the country of much-needed scarce resources. The country is battling a budget deficit caused by declining oil output which has relegated it to the fourth-highest oil-producing country in Africa, behind Angola, Libya and Morocco.
Tompolo’s ‘magic’ wand Thieves built a 4-kilometre pipeline via the heavily secured creeks to the Atlantic ocean. The thieves brazenly loaded the stolen oil from a 24-foot rig which could be seen from miles on the open ocean.
Kyari called it a professional job as he waded through the swamped creeks, retracing the path during the televised visit. According to various sources, the recent discovery of illicit pipelines confirms massive corruption in the oil industry.
The latest discovery was by a private security firm owned by Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, a former Niger Delta militant. But analysts believe that the humongous oil theft is costing the Nigerian billions of dollars in developing critical infrastructure.
In today’s estimates, the billions of dollars lost to oil theft are enough to build the following: A World-class hospital -$73 million Rail system – $2.2 million Airport Terminals – $500 million Abidjan-Lagos Highway – $15.6bn
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