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Senator Dickson accuses Abuja, Lagos elites of orchestrating oil theft in Niger Delta

The senator called for international condemnation of stolen Nigerian crude oil, akin to the global consensus against blood diamonds, urging leaders to demonstrate unwavering political will in combating the scourge of oil theft.

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Senator Dickson accuses Abuja, Lagos elites of orchestrating oil theft in Niger Delta

Senator Seriake Dickson, representing Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, has revealed that influential figures from Lagos and Abuja are the masterminds behind the rampant oil theft plaguing the Niger Delta region.

During an appearance on “Inside Sources” with Laolu Akande on Channels Television, Dickson, a former two-term governor of Bayelsa State, condemned the pervasive culture of oil theft, emphasizing the complicity of both governmental and corporate entities.

Dickson criticized the lack of robust monitoring mechanisms for oil production and distribution, asserting that the absence of such measures facilitates illicit activities, leading to the exploitation of the nation’s resources for personal gain.

Highlighting the detrimental effects of oil theft on local communities, Dickson underscored its role in fueling criminality, including the proliferation of weapons and drug-related crimes, particularly among young people coerced into illegal activities.

The senator called for international condemnation of stolen Nigerian crude oil, akin to the global consensus against blood diamonds, urging leaders to demonstrate unwavering political will in combating the scourge of oil theft.

READ ALSO: Navy nabs Ghanaian vessel for suspected crude oil theft

Oil theft has long plagued Nigeria, with staggering volumes of crude oil siphoned off by entrenched interests within the oil sector. In 2022, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited uncovered an illegal oil connection spanning nine years, resulting in the loss of approximately 600,000 barrels per day.

Reports indicate that up to 108,000 barrels of crude are pilfered daily, translating to substantial financial losses for the country. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) estimates that Nigeria forfeits 2.3 million barrels monthly, equating to over $1 billion every three months.

Although security forces have made arrests and seized vessels involved in oil theft, experts contend that eliminating official complicity, ensuring transparency, and fostering accountability are pivotal in eradicating this pervasive menace, which exacts both financial and environmental tolls on the nation.

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