Nigeria loses $6b yearly to crude oil theft

at 02:40 PM, 1/04/2013 (5 years ago)
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NIGERIA is losing $6 billion yearly to crude oil theft, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) claimed yesterday.
PENGASSAN’s President Mr Babatunde Ogun said at a joint forum with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Lagos that Nigeria has also lost N105 billion to theft of refined products.
“This is a threat to our national security and our democracy. If this kind of huge amount of money gets into the wrong hands, it can destabilise our democracy and national security,’’ Ogun said.
He blamed the incessant loss of billions of naira on vandalism of crude oil and petroleum products’ pipeline.
Ogun described as regrettable the inability of security forces to arrest the unwholesome practice which led to a fire in Arepo, Ogun State, and the subsequent shut down of Nembe Creek Trunk line by Shell Petroleum Development Compny (SPDC).
He said: “An estimated 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil is stolen at Nembe Creek. Agip also suspended production in Bayelsa because 60 per cent of its production of about 90 barrels is stolen per day.”
Ogun said it was sad that no one had ever been caught or prosecuted even when the miscellaneous offence Act provides for life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of crude oil theft or vandalised pipelines.
He urged the Federal Government to beef-up security and warned that the oil and gas sector would suspend production and supply of petroleum products if nothing was done.
Ogun called on government to deal with the insecurity problem in view of the resurgence of kidnapping and continuous bombings.
The PEGASSAN chief urged governors and chairmen local government areas to channel their security votes to step-up intelligence gathering and surveillance to nip crime in the bud .

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