Home » Nigeria’s Senate Reports N2.3tn Loss to Oil Theft in 2023

Nigeria’s Senate Reports N2.3tn Loss to Oil Theft in 2023

by Adenike Adeodun

The Senate reported a substantial N2.3 trillion loss this year due to rampant oil theft. As a result, they’ve mandated a comprehensive investigation into the complex web of security forces, militia groups, and sophisticated tactics employed in stealing the nation’s crude oil. The disclosure follows a motion presented by Senator Ned Munir Nwoko from Delta North.

As reported by This Day Live, Nwoko emphasized that the ongoing trends of pipeline vandalism and oil bunkering are plunging Nigeria into an alarming socio-economic crisis. He alleged that some aspects of security agencies collaborate with rogue individuals in the oil industry to perpetuate this theft, thereby frustrating the efforts of the Joint Task Force and various security entities.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Nwoko mentioned, “Nigeria experienced a surge in oil production, reaching 1.51 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2023. This was an improvement from the 1.49 million barrels in the same period of 2022 and notably higher than the 1.34 million barrels in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

While the efforts of organizations like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and Department of State Services have been commendable, it is evident that some members within them collaborate with unsavory figures in the oil sector, thereby denting the nation’s economy.

Moreover, evidence suggests that the deep-rooted problem of oil theft thrives due to concerning collaborations between security forces, militia groups, the local populace, and certain oil company employees. They employ sophisticated methods to siphon oil, hindering Nigeria’s potential to meet OPEC’s production quota.

Amid this backdrop, Nwoko stated that allegations have been flying around, accusing various entities of involvement in this illicit activity, which deeply tarnishes the nation’s economic framework.

“Nigeria lost approximately 437,000 barrels of crude oil daily in 2022, equating to a loss of about $23 million daily. Fast forward to March 2023, and we witnessed a whopping loss of 65.7 million barrels, valued at $83 per barrel, culminating in a staggering revenue loss of N2.3 trillion,” Nwoko added.

Consequently, he called on the Senate to initiate a holistic probe into these oil thieves and their collaborators in the security services.

Senators, including Buhari Abdulfatai and Adams Oshiomhole, echoed the need for stringent measures and stricter oversight to combat oil theft.

To counteract these challenges, the Senate directed its Petroleum Resources and Niger Delta Affairs committees to initiate a rigorous investigation into these illicit activities. Senate President Godswill Akpabio also highlighted the detrimental impact of oil theft on the country’s capacity to produce oil, considering its burgeoning population. He entrusted the committees with the task of delivering an exhaustive report within six weeks.

On another front, the Senate began amendments to the National Social Investment Programme Agency Act (NSIPA), 2023. This aims to transition the agency from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency.

In a climate-centric move, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, Senator Seriake Dickson, expressed the Senate’s commitment to backing new legislation or modifications to current laws to assist Nigeria’s energy transition finance endeavors.

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