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Oil theft cost Nigeria over N4.3tn in five years, says FG

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Oil theft cost Nigeria over N4.3tn in five years, says FG

The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed that the country lost more than N4.3tn worth of crude oil to theft in 7,143 cases of pipeline vandalism between 2017 and 2021.

This was disclosed at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPTSC) in Abuja on Monday, with the theme ‘Bolstering Regulations, Technology and Security for Growth’.

The conference was organised by the Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria (PPAN).

According to a presentation by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a Federal Government agency, oil theft and losses in Nigeria have become a national emergency that poses a serious threat to oil exploration and exploitation, as well as economic growth, business prospects and profit earnings by oil companies.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, said that oil theft was an emergency that required urgent attention and collective action from all stakeholders.

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He provided data from the agency’s reports to back his claims, saying: “NEITI disclosed that in the last five years, 2017 to 2021, Nigeria recorded 7,143 cases of pipeline breakages and deliberate vandalism resulting in crude theft and product losses of 208.639 million barrels valued at $12.74m or N4.325tn. NEITI reports also disclosed that during the same period Nigeria spent N471.493bn to either repair or maintain pipelines.”

Orji pointed out that from NEITI’s 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report released in September, the sector accounted for 72.26 per cent of Nigeria’s total export and government’s foreign exchange, 40.55 per cent of government revenue, and provided 19,171 jobs.

He stressed that it was also a fact that many members of the PPAN were directly and indirectly involved in providing the skills and knowledge required to perpetrate oil theft.

He told participants at the conference that Nigeria’s economy cannot grow in an atmosphere of oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and general insecurity in the oil producing communities.

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