Nigeria Loses $42bn To Oil Theft – NEITI

  • Nigeria Loses $42bn To Oil Theft – NEITI

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed that the nation, between 2009 and 2018, lost crude oil and refined products worth $41.9 billion to oil theft.

This was disclosed in a policy brief released by NEITI on Wednesday in Abuja.

Giving a breakdown, NEITI said $38.5 billion was lost to crude theft alone, $1.56billion on domestic crude and another $1.8billion on refined petroleum products during the period under review.

According to the report, the nation lost an average of $11 million daily, resulting to $349 million in a month and about $4.2 billion annually to crude and product losses arising from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalism.

“While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000 and 250,000 barrels per day, data from private studies estimated the figure to be between 200,000 and 400,000bpd.

“This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals.”

According to NEITI, the value of crude oil and allied products lost was equal to the size of the nation’s entire foreign reserves.

“Stemming this haemorrhage and leakages should be an urgent priority for Nigeria at a time of dwindling revenues and increasing needs,” the report noted.

The transparency agency further stressed that what Nigeria lost in 20 months in fiscal terms were “enough to finance the proposed budget deficit for 2020; in 15 months to cover total proposed borrowing or increase capital budget by 100 per cent and in five months to cover pensions, gratuities and retirees’ benefits for 2020.”

“In terms of volume, 138,000 barrels of crude oil was lost every day for the past 10 years, representing seven per cent of average production of two million barrels per day.

“Nigeria lost more than 505 million barrels of crude oil and 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products between 2009 to 2018.

“What is stolen, spilled or shut-in represents lost revenue, which ultimately translates to services that government cannot provide for citizens already in dire need of critical public goods,” it said.

NEITI attributed the oil theft to pipeline vandalism, criminal sabotage and illegal refineries in oil-producing communities.

To curb the menace of oil theft, the transparency agency urged the Federal Government to adopt oil fingerprinting technology and comprehensive metering infrastructure of all facilities across Nigeria.

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