Various stakeholders and groups are urging for more stringent measures to combat the pervasive issue of oil theft in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of not only eradicating this menace but also holding perpetrators accountable,leadership reports.

Nigeria has consistently attributed its failure to meet the 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) OPEC quota to significant oil theft, dwindling investment, and deliberate sabotage.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country have shed light on the persistence of oil bunkering and theft, attributing it to corruption and the involvement of state actors. They stress that protecting national assets is a priority for any country, yet Nigeria faces challenges due to the alleged involvement of influential figures within the government.

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The detrimental effects of oil theft on Nigeria’s revenue are widely acknowledged, prompting calls for urgent action from the government.

Despite efforts to curb oil theft, particularly in the Niger Delta region, allegations of involvement from various sectors of society, including state actors, traditional leaders, youth groups, and community figures, continue to surface.

While Nigeria’s crude oil production has experienced fluctuations, with marginal declines reported in recent surveys, the overall output has seen increases throughout the year. However, maintaining consistency in production remains a challenge, primarily due to ongoing issues such as theft, vandalism, and illegal refining activities.

To address these challenges, civil society groups are launching a global campaign focused on combating sabotage in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. They stress the importance of deploying advanced technology for monitoring oil fields and pipelines to enhance security and deter criminal activities.

Meanwhile, stakeholders within the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) and other industry players have identified poverty, governance issues, ineffective law enforcement, and corruption as underlying causes of oil theft. They emphasize the need for comprehensive strategies to address these socio-economic factors and strengthen security measures.

Governor Godwin Obaseki, chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad Hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Prevention, and Control, highlights the importance of enhancing governance structures for pipeline security and collaborating with intelligence agencies to identify international markets for stolen crude oil.

The NNPC Ltd has also appealed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for assistance in tackling crude oil theft, recognizing it as a significant economic crime that requires concerted efforts to combat.

Despite these efforts, challenges persist, with only a fraction of Nigeria’s oil terminals equipped with metering systems, hindering effective monitoring of oil production and distribution. Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has drawn attention to the substantial losses incurred due to corruption and illegal activities within the oil and gas industry.

Ultimately, stakeholders stress the need for decisive action against oil theft and bunkering, highlighting the detrimental impact on national security and the economy. They urge for accountability and enforcement of stringent measures to curb these illicit practices, calling for a collective effort to safeguard Nigeria’s vital resources and promote transparency and integrity within the sector.


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