…Says Nigeria lost N16.25trn Oil Theft
Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has thrown its weight behind the decision by the federal government to set up a panel to investigate the perennial oil theft that has dimmed the country’s oil income and prevented it from meeting OPEC output.
The agency said it recognizes and aligns itself to the new collaboration between offices of the secretary to the government of the federation and that of the national security adviser in coordinating the investigations and the wisdom to appoint NEITI in the special panel.
According to the agency, Nigeria has lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at $46.16 billion or N16.25 trillion in twelve years from (2009 to 2020).
The losses were from theft and sabotage based on information and data provided by an average of eight companies covered by NEITI process over the years.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, NEITI’s head, communications and advocacy, Ms Obiageli Onuorah, said in 2009 when NEITI commenced reporting of crude oil theft, Nigeria lost 69.49 million barrels valued at $4.31 billion.
The figures for 2010, 2011 and 2012 revealed that 28.31million, 38.61million and 51.58 million barrels, which were valued at $2.29billion, $4.39 billion and $5.82 billion were lost respectively.
Oil and gas industry reports for 2013 to 2020 also showed that the losses to crude oil theft did not abate as 78.30million barrels valued at $8.55 billion was lost in 2013 alone.
The years of 2014 and 2015 witnessed combined losses of 67.29 million barrels valued at $5.57 billion. NEITI also noted that the year 2016 recorded the highest losses of 101.05 million barrels that was valued at $4.42 billion.
Furthermore, reports showed losses of 36.46 million barrel ($1.99 billion) in 2017, 53.281 ($3.837 billion) in 2018, 42.248 million barrels ($2.772 billion) in 2019 and 53.056million barrels ($2.21billion) in 2020.
“The combined value of these losses is 619.7 million barrels amounting to $46.16 billion over a twelve year period”, NEITI added.
The agency lamented that “it was regrettable that at a time Nigeria’s economy is largely dependent on oil revenues, some Nigerians would choose to collude with foreign nationals to steal and sabotage the main sources of revenue for the federation”.
While aligning itself to the new collaborations among top federal government offices, security agencies, and critical stakeholders, Ms Onuorah said NEITI looks forward to providing strategic information and data to the special panel of which the agency is a member.
By Bosco Anayo