Crude Oil theft cost Nigeria N995.2b annually

With the country losing over N995.2 billion annually due to oil theft, the economy is doomed, New Nigeria Foundation (NNF), a nongovernmental organisation has said.

Addressing participants at the advocacy programme for media practitioners in Lagos recently, NNF Programme Manager, Chikodi Amadi-Chiedo said oil theft had grave socio-economic consequence for the country.

She said if the trend was not addressed, it would shrink the country’s wealth with dire implications.

According to her, losing 400,000 barrels of oil on daily basis due to activities of unscrupulous elements was not in the country’s interest.

Amadi-Chiedo added that most of the products are lost through pipeline vandalisation, illegal bunkering and over lifting of oil.

The stolen oil, she maintained found their ways into neighbouring countries, black market and the open market. She noted that some of the illegally acquired oils are adulterated because of the process they pass through.

She explained that over 70,000 KM of land is under threat due to activities of illegal oil exploration, stressing that the Niger Delta is the worst hit due to crude oil theft activities.

According to the oil expert, life expectancy had reduced disproportionately, noting that all hands must be on the deck to make life better for people living in the region, where the illegal crude oil refineries is thriving.

“The Niger Delta problem is a national problem. It is not a problem that you leave to the people in the region. Nigerians must all be involved because it is like a time bomb waiting to explode.

“Oil in the Niger Delta finds its way to the markets through channels that are unconventional. The process is open to bribery and corruption. The unemployment rate in the area made the case almost implacable. The youth find illegal oil production rewarding.

“The produced oils in most cases are substandard with negative impact. So, in trying to nip the situation in the bud, government spent much on security to keep legitimate oil companies and drilling operation ongoing.”

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