Crude oil and refined product worth $41.9 billion were stolen from Nigeria in the last ten years, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said in a report released on Wednesday in Abuja.
A breakdown of the report shows that the nation lost $38.5billion on crude theft alone, $1.56billion on domestic crude and another $1.8billion on refined petroleum products between 2009 and 2018.
In the report, titled “Stemming the Increasing Cost of Oil Theft to Nigeria”, NEITI urged the government to embrace oil fingerprinting technology, comprehensive metering infrastructure of all facilities, and other creative strategies to combat the growing menace of theft of Nigeria’s crude oil and refined petroleum products.
The agency further expressed concerns that in the face of current dwindling revenues, paying priority attention to curb oil theft in the country’s oil and gas industry had become both necessary and urgent to expand revenue generation.
The NEITI report further disclosed that Nigeria losses an average of $11million daily which translates to $349 million in a month and about $4.2billion annually to crude and product losses arising from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalism.
“While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000-250,000 bpd, data from private studies estimate the figure to be between 200,000-400,000 bpd. This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals”, the report said.
On comparative analysis of the size and implication of the losses to the country’s current dwindling revenue profile, NEITI renewed its appeal to the government to curb oil theft to reduce budget deficits and external borrowing.