How Nigeria lost N16.25tr to crude oil theft in 11 years, by Abbas
• Reps summon NNPCL, NIMASA, NUPRC
About $46 billion (N16.25 trillion) was lost to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, disclosed, yesterday.
According to the Speaker, the menace of crude oil theft has drastically hampered growth of Nigeria’s oil production, with the country losing between five and 30 per cent of its daily crude oil output.
Abbas made the observation while inaugurating an ad hoc committee to investigate crude oil theft and loss of revenue in the country. He also expressed shock that key agencies in the oil and gas sector, such as Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, and Ministry of Petroleum Resources, failed to honour invitations by lawmakers.
Abbas said heads of the agencies were not doing the nation any good by refusing to appear before parliament to answer questions on core aspects of the economy.
Represented by Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Speaker said unless decisive action is taken, the country could sink into a deeper fiscal crisis, given dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector.
Quoting data from Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Speaker said oil production declined from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020.
He said: “NEITI reports also show that 619 million barrels of crude valued at $46 billion were stolen in the period 2009-2020. Nigeria has continually failed to meet its daily production quota, as set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).”
Abbas explained further that “recently, Nigeria’s OPEC quota was reduced from 1.742 million barrels per day to 1.38 million barrels per day. Yet, the country is still struggling to meet this quota as daily production output was 1.184 million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day in May and June 2023.
“On average, current daily production output is a far cry from the budget assumption of 1.69 million per day. The implication is clearly manifest in the economic crisis the country is facing.”
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