The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has revealed that Nigeria suffered significant losses amounting to approximately N16.25 trillion due to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.
He made this statement in Abuja while inaugurating an ad hoc committee tasked with investigating crude oil theft and revenue loss.
Abbas expressed deep concern over the detrimental impact of crude oil theft on Nigeria’s oil production growth, with the country losing between five and 30 percent of daily crude oil production.
What surprised Abbas further was the refusal of critical oil and gas sector agencies to cooperate with the committee, highlighting their failure to serve the nation by not appearing before parliament to address questions related to the crucial sector of the economy.
Nigeria’s oil production declined significantly
He warned that if immediate and decisive action wasn’t taken to tackle this issue, Nigeria might plunge into a deeper fiscal crisis due to declining revenue from the oil and gas sector.
According to data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria’s oil production declined from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020.
NEITI also reported that 619 million barrels of crude valued at $46 billion were stolen between 2009 and 2020.
Abbas emphasized that despite the government’s efforts to combat crude oil theft in the past, the problem persisted, resulting in substantial losses.
The newly formed committee, headed by Alhassa Usman Rumrum, aims to address this issue effectively and bring an end to the sabotage and breach of national security.
The police representative, Mr. Alabi Abiodun, assured the committee of the police’s commitment to assisting in addressing the problem.
The committee has been given a six-week deadline to submit its report, signaling the urgency with which Nigeria seeks to tackle this issue and safeguard its economic interests.