The Federal Government, through the Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva, announced that Nigeria is losing 400,000 barrels per day to petroleum theft, which has hampered the country’s earning potential during a period of high crude prices.
Sylva revealed this during a meeting with Imo Governor Hope Uzodimma at the Government House in Owerri, on Monday, August 8.
The economic losses linked to oil theft, according to Sylva, have the potential to destroy Nigeria’s economy.
Sylva stated that oil theft is a “National emergency”, adding that Nigeria “had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels, due to crude theft” and also expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the Federal and State Governments to arrest it.
The Minister noted;
It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.
This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.
As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.
And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.
This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure.
He urged stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problem and commended the governor for his efforts to ensure that Imo remains safe and the economy did not shut down.
Facts To Be Known
According to Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory, crude oil theft cost Nigeria an astounding $1 billion in income in the first quarter of 2022, putting the economy of Africa’s biggest producer in jeopardy.
Of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in the first quarter of 2022, he added, only around 132 million barrels were delivered to export terminals.
The FGN’s share of oil income was N285.38 billion in the first quarter of the year, reflecting a performance of 39%, while non-oil tax collections totaled N632.56 billion, marking an 84 percent performance, according to the Ministry of Finance.