How Nigeria lost $46bn to oil theft in 11 years – Speaker

Bisola David
Bisola David
Army discovers stolen 1m litres crude oil in Rivers

Nigeria has sustained significant losses as a result of crude oil theft totaling $46 billion between 2009 and 2020, according to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.

According to The Times, Rt. Hon. Abbas made this disclosure while establishing the special committee to look into crude oil theft and related revenue losses.

He claimed that between 2009 and 2020, Nigeria lost almost $46 billion as a result of crude oil theft. This astounding number highlights how serious the problem is.

According to him, NEITI reported that between that period, 619 million barrels of crude with a market worth of $46 billion were taken. Nigeria has consistently fallen short of the daily production target it was required to meet by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.”

Nigeria’s oil production has suffered as a result of the threat of crude oil theft. An estimated 5% to 30% of daily crude oil production is lost to theft, This has seriously hampered the development of the nation’s oil industry.

He remarked as follows: “While Nigeria’s daily oil output has performed poorly due to a number of causes, the average international price for Brent crude oil has been marginally over the established benchmark price since January.

“It is well known that due to global financial constraints and the general response to energy transition considerations, investment in the oil and gas sector has decreased over the past few years.”

Given the diminishing earnings from the oil and gas sector, Abbas cautioned that if strong action is not taken to address the problem of crude oil theft, Nigeria could experience a greater fiscal crisis. This highlights how urgent it is to address the issue.

The Speaker emphasized a fall in Nigeria’s oil production from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020 by citing data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The nation’s economic problems are made worse by this deterioration.

In addition, he added, “Nigeria’s OPEC quota was recently lowered from 1.38 million barrels per day to 1.742 million barrels per day. Even so, the country still finds it difficult to reach this quota as daily production output in May and June 2023 was 1.184 million and 1.249 million barrels per day, respectively.

The budget assumption of 1.69 million per day is a far cry from the average daily production output today. The country’s current economic crisis makes the implications quite evident.

The Speaker further mentioned how the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic recovery had placed a shadow of doubt over Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. The difficulties people face are exacerbated by these outside circumstances.

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