Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas on Thursday said that Nigeria lost N16.25 trillion to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.
The speaker said this while inaugurating the ad hoc committee to investigate crude oil theft and loss of revenue in Abuja.
He said the menace of crude oil theft had hampered the growth of the country’s oil production, with between five and 30 per cent of crude oil production lost daily.
He said that critical agencies in the oil and gas sector like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Petroleum Resources among others failed to honour invitation.
Represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Al-Hassan Ado-Doguwa, the speaker said if decisive action was not taken to address the issue, the country may be thrown into a deeper fiscal crisis.
This according to him is due to dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector.
Quoting data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Abbas said Nigeria’s oil production declined from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day in 2020.
He said “NEITI reports also show that 619 million barrels of crude valued at 46 billion dollars were stolen in the period 2009 to 2020″.
He added that Nigeria had continually failed to meet its daily production quota as set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
According to him, recently, Nigeria’s OPEC quota was reduced from 1.742 million barrels per day to 1.38 million barrels per day.
“Yet, the country is still struggling to meet this quota as daily production output was 1.184 million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day in May and June 2023 respectively.
“On the average, current daily production output is a far cry from the budget assumption of 1.69 million per day. The implication is clearly manifest in the economic crisis that the country is facing.”
He said the nation had been facing a major fiscal crisis, adding that global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine had continued to cast a cloud of uncertainty on the oil and gas industry.
Al-hassa Runrum, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee said the volume of losses occasioned by oil theft in the country and its associated impact on the economy was unacceptable.
He said this would not be tolerated by any government that sincerely loves its citizens.
He added that such act of sabotage and breach of the nation’s security and sovereignty makes a caricature of the nation’s pride
“It is an affront on the government and its institutions, which must be tackled without further delay,’’ he said.
He said the committee was determined to bring the ugly trend to an end otherwise there might be no future for “our children who have not yet “japed’’ to other countries in search of survival.” (NAN)