Nigeria, one of Africa’s major oil producers has witnessed a notable surge in pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in its oil-producing regions, further compounding the nation’s ongoing revenue difficulties.
Nuhu Ribadu, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, stated that despite the government’s persistent efforts to curb the illicit trade, both local and foreign thieves continue to cause Nigeria a daily loss of 400,000 barrels of crude oil.
Affirming this, Ribadu, during a presidential delegation visit to evaluate oil and gas facilities in Owaza, Abia, and Odogwa, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers, on Saturday, noted that the actions of oil thieves and pipeline vandals have inflicted adverse effects on the country’s economy. These activities are also contributing factors to the escalating cost of living in the nation.
Nigeria loses about 4 million dollars annually
According to Ribadu, the country’s stolen shared resources led to significant losses for the nation, communities, and people. Nigeria has the capacity to produce 2 million barrels of crude oil daily, however, due to pipeline theft and vandalism, the current production is below 1.6 million barrels. This results in 400,000 barrels of crude oil going to waste.
Ribadu revealed that those behind artisanal refineries engage in the extraction of a small quantity of crude oil by rupturing pipelines, resulting in the release of larger volumes of oil into the surrounding environment which has dire consequences.
The current value of 400,000 barrels of oil stands at approximately 4 million dollars. The persistent occurrence leads to a daily loss and when this daily loss is projected over a year by multiplying 4 million dollars by 365 days, it becomes evident that the financial impact is significant, amounting to billions of dollars.
He underscored the pressing financial needs of the nation, accentuated by the continuous devaluation of the Naira. An increase in earnings would have a dual effect, not only would it contribute to the bolstering of our currency, but it would also be evident across various aspects, encompassing the country’s overall cost of living.
The National Security Adviser noted that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is deeply attentive to this situation and is actively implementing measures to tackle the issue. The substantial investments made by the government to construct vital infrastructures for the collective benefit of the populace were being undermined by a small group of individuals. This destructive activity not only harms the facilities but also has detrimental consequences for the environment.
Ribadu advocated for a cohesive and unified approach to confront the challenge of oil theft, aiming to put an end to the prolonged series of assaults on the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure.
“We are working hard with the security forces and those employed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to secure our facilities and end this madness called oil theft,” he added.
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