A report by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) has revealed that the highest ever reported crude oil theft in the world takes place in Nigeria, with the country recording approximately 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude theft.
The NNRC report, which was an aftermath of a survey on oil theft in the world, also said that Mexico came second with approximately 5,000 to 10,000 bpd loss to oil theft.
Speaking in Lagos at a workshop with media professionals and members of the civil society organisations on reducing oil theft, a researcher, Niyi Awodeyin, said the report showed that Nigeria’s loses around 10 per cent of its annual budget to crude oil theft.
Awodeyin added that it was complex to determine the scale of oil theft but that on average, Nigeria loses N1 trillion annually to oil theft.
He said the scale of oil theft showed that Nigeria was losing on a daily basis more than the volume of crude oil some countries produce daily, stating that 75 per cent of stolen crude was taken out of Nigeria.
According to him, the study showed that there has been a steady rise in the past decade of crude oil theft between 2011 and 2014 estimates of lost revenue ranges from $7 billion to 12 billion annually.
Awodeyin, however, expressed skepticism on oil theft in the country, saying the trend could continue unabated because the current policies on theft were not enough to deter oil thieves.
Recall that Sometime around August – September (2019), no fewer than 57 sailors were arrested in Rivers State by the Nigerian Navy for allegedly smuggling crude oil and illegally refining diesel.
The sailors, including a Ukrainian, a Mexican and 55 Nigerians, were arrested onboard four vessels, two wooden boats and a barge.