Reps To Probe Oil Theft

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The House of Representatives is set to probe the incessant theft of Nigeria’s crude oil which has resulted in a massive loss of revenue to the country.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala recently raised an alarm that the country was losing N155 billion monthly to crude oil thieves.

The House in a statement signed by Bashir Adamu, Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, invited all stakeholders and members of the public to the inauguration of the committee by the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, tomorrow at the National Assembly.

According to Adamu, the lawmakers on Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 resolved to carry out investigation into the incessant and unbriddled theft of crude oil in Nigeria.

Okonjo- Iweala had while fielding questions from newsmen on the drop in oil production during the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in May, disclosed that Nigeria loses $1billion (N155 billion) revenue every month to oil theft.

She attributed the drop in crude oil production to a variety of reasons including loss of 150,000 barrel per day due to shut-in of shell Nembe operations.

“Shut-in due to force Majeure declared at Qua Iboe Terminal, resulting in a loss of about 65,000 barrel per day.

“Some other losses including those of Agip, loses at Okono, Brass and Amenam Terminals due to repair works on equipment,” she said.

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According to the minister, “a great deal of loss in production is also closely linked to oil theft and illegal bunkering, which have been going on for some time.”

She said the thefts were getting more evasive as the criminals were going beyond the outer pipelines and moving into more sensitive pipes.

“We estimate total loss at over 300,000 barrel per day,” she said.

She added that the president had been briefed on these developments and action were being taken on different front to stabilise the situation.

According to her, the president has ordered the Navy to increase its patrols around the hotspots of oil theft and illegal bunkering.

The NNPC had also said that Nigeria lost about N190 billion to crude oil theft alone between January and March.