Oil theft: 1million barrels of crude stolen daily — Senate president, Ahmad Lawan

Says crude oil thieves are Nigeria’s worst enemies

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, says Nigeria loses one million barrels of crude oil daily to crude theft.

He made the remarks at the presentation of the 2023 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, the Nigerian economy was still challenged by a dearth of revenues and the situation worsened recently, culminating in the loss of one million barrels of crude per day.

He said: “Translated into monetary terms, our loss is monumental. The large-scale and massive stealing of our oil is concerning, as this reduces drastically the revenues available to the Government. With conflicting figures, projections have put our losses from this malaise at between 700, 000 to 900, 000 barrels of crude oil per day, leading to about 29 to 35 per cent loss in oil revenue in the first quarter of 2022”.

The Senate President also said that the figure represented an estimated total revenue fall from N1.1 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2021 to N790 billion in the first quarter of this year. “The figures show we are not able to meet the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) daily quota of 1.8 million barrels per day”, he stated.

Lawan described oil thieves as the country’s worst enemies whose actions could ruin the economy, saying it is time to take drastic and desperate measures against the thieves, as according to him, their action is limiting Government’s revenue required for developmental projects. He however, said that the budget deficit could be reduced by stopping the theft.

Three months after losing its status as Africa’s biggest crude oil producer to Angola, Nigeria’s oil output has dropped below that of Libya in August, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC).

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