Nigeria loses over 5 billion Euros to oil theft-IEA
The International Energy Agency, IEA has disclosed that crude oil theft has been a major problem to the Federal Government in Nigeria; as a result the Country loses over five billion euros to oil theft annually.
The agency revealed that crude oil is normally stolen from pipelines at Niger Delta region and loaded into ships in the Atlantic Ocean from where it is sent Abroad.
However, Ships, Gun boats, and Air Force Patrol Planes were recently deployed to combat the crime for the first phase of the operation which lasted one week.
The navy has now been deployed to combat the crime.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral Ameen Ikioda, said the exercise marks the beginning of a long-term plan to combat oil theft in the country.
Ikioda promised to intensify efforts at ensuring naval presence at the crime area.
Speaking with newsmen, Ikioda said, “It is not just a one-off thing, it is something that is going to be on a continuous basis now’’.
He added that they hope to know where gaps exist and then know how to fill in the gaps so that they can be more proactive in dealing with issues that may arise from all these theft cases in that part of the country.
He further disclosed that the crime is carried out by Nigerians, and international oil traders, who sell the stolen Crude oil to refineries around the World.
More so, Shell Oil Company lamented of how it loses 12 million Euros to oil theft on daily basis.
According to the Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Shell Oil Company, Tony Attah, the lost they have seen is estimated to about 150,000 barrels of Crude oil per day, which is almost $15 million or 12 million Euros per day.
Consequently, most of the estimates put Nigeria’s annual loss at $7 billion or 5.4 billion Euros, he added.
He further stated that Public announcements being carried out on State-owned radio and television stations aimed at discouraging people from indulging in crude-oil theft proved abortive.
Minister of the Environmental Rights Action of Niger Delta, Bayelsa State, Morris Alagoa, also revealed that Niger Delta youths involved in oil theft are not likely to give up the crime because they said pollution caused by oil exploitation has affected their environment and their means of livelihoods.
Speaking further on the feelings of the people, he said, they can no longer fish, and farm as they used to do in those days, their lands have been polluted. So they have seen the Crude oil theft as one of the most thriving business within their local Economy, and stopping them will be frustrating.