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Nigeria lost $42b to oil thieves in 10 years – Agency

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NIGERIA lost about $42 billion to crude oil and allied products theft in the last 10 years.

  This is contained in a document entitled “Stemming the Increasing Cost of Oil Theft to Nigeria” which was released in Abuja by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday, noting that the value of crude already lost should account for nearly Nigeria’s entire foreign reserves.

  According to the anti-graft watchdog, Nigeria loses about $11million daily to step up the loss from petroleum extraction to $349 million every month and approximately $4.2 billion every year, adding that these losses arise from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalisation.

  Giving further breakdown of the growing oil theft while revealing that Nigeria lost $38.5billion on crude theft alone, NEITI prescribed introduction of oil fingerprinting technology, comprehensive metering infrastructure of all facilities, and other creative strategies as the sure bets to tracking the haemorrhage.

  The breakdown also shows that $1.56billion was lost to domestic crude while $1.8billion earned from on refined petroleum products between 2009 and 2018 was equally stolen.

  “While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000-250,000 bpd, data from private studies estimate the figure to be between 200,000-400,000 bpd. This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

On comparative analysis of the size and implication of the losses to the country’s current dwindling revenue profile, NEITI renewed its appeal to the government to curb oil theft to reduce budget deficits and external borrowing. Stemming this haemorrhage and leakages should be an urgent priority for Nigeria at a time of dwindling revenues and increasing needs,” NEITI said.

  The report also estimated that what the country lost in 20 months in fiscal terms is 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.

 It equally added that “in terms of volume, 138.000 barrels of crude oil was lost every day for the past 10 years, representing 7 per cent of average production of two million bpd. Nigeria lost more than 505 million barrels of crude oil and 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products between 2009-2018.

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.”

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