Rising cases of oil theft which has affected Nigeria’s earning capacity in a period of high crude prices could be worse than imagined, as the Federal Government revealed that Nigeria is losing 400,000 barrels per day to crude theft.
This was disclosed by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Timipre Sylva, in a meeting with Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo at the Government House, Owerri, according to NAN.
The minister added that the economic losses attributed to oil theft are capable of crippling Nigeria’s economy.
What the minister is saying
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.
“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 toinvest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.
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.
What you should know
Due to crude oil theft, Nigeria lost a staggering $1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, endangering the economy of Africa’s top producer, according to Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory.
He added that only about 132 million barrels of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in the first quarter of 2022 were received at export terminals.
According to the Ministry of Finance, in the first quarter of the year, the FGN’s share of oil revenues was N285.38 billion (representing 39% performance), while non-oil tax revenues totalled N632.56 billion – a performance of 84%. CIT and VAT collections were N298.83 billion and N102.97 billion, representing 99% and 98% of their respective targets.
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