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Crude oil theft: Nigeria loses N15tr to illegal bunkering

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A report by the New Nigeria Foundation (NNF) has shown, NIGERIA lost an estimated N15 trillion to illegal bunkering and other crude oil thefts in some parts of the country including Niger delta between 2015 and 2018.

The figure, which translates to about $41 billion at the exchange rate of N360 to a dollar, is 43 per cent of the nation’s oil earning for the period. This places Nigeria as the worst country in the world in terms of crude oil theft globally.

The report entitled: ‘Unboxing crude oil theft in Nigeria’, estimated that the fund lost to crude oil theft during the four-year period could have helped bridged 28.7 percent of Nigeria’s budget deficit for the period under review.

“In the last four years, Nigerian has lost approximately 43percent of recorded revenue to oil theft, which amounts to 17percent of the country’s budget for same period.

“The amount lost could have paid 28.7percent of Nigeria’s budget deficit in that period.” as stated in the report.

Chikodi Chiedo, NNF Senior Programme Manager, stated that crude oil theft has become a multi-billion dollar industry “with a lot of players at various levels involved”.

The PIND Foundation published the report on Monday evening, citing several reasons for the attractiveness of the illicit oil industry, stating: “Crude oil theft occurs for several reasons including, high unemployment, poverty and grievances about resource control, among others.”

It identified poor governance of oil revenue, corruption, and a lopsided revenue structure, among others, as contributors to the spike in oil thefts.

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