According to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, the country lost about $46 billion (16.25 trillion) to crude oil theft from 2009 to 2020.
And also as the refusal of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Ministry of Petroleum Resources to honour the invitation by the committee of the House.
During the ad hoc community inauguration in Abuja, the speaker urges for the investigation on crude oil theft and loss of revenue, the menace of crude oil theft has drastically altered the growth of the country’s oil production, with Nigeria losing about 5% to 30% of daily crude oil production.
He further expressed shock that the critical agencies in the oil and gas sector had refused to honour the committees’ invite, adding that the agencies were not doing the nation any good by refusing to appear before the parliament to answer questions on the critical aspect of the economy.
Al Hassan Ado Doguwa, represented by chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, the speaker said if immediate action was not taken to tackle the issue, the country might be thrown into a deeper fiscal crisis due to dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector.
Quoting data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI in 2020. Nigeria’s oil production decrease from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million barrels per day said the Speaker
“NEITI reports also show that 619 million barrels of crude valued at $46 billion were stolen in the period 2009-2020”, adding that “Nigeria has continually failed to meet its daily production quota as set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.” He said
Abbas said that “recently, Nigeria’s OPEC quota was reduced from 1.742 million barrels per day to 1.38 million barrels per day, “the daily production output was 1.184million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day in May and June but still the country struggles to meet it.
“On average, current daily production output is a far cry from the budget assumption of 1.69 million per day. The implication is clearly manifest in the economic crisis that the country is facing. ”The country faced the major fiscal crisis emphasized and also said the persistence cast of uncertainty on the oil and gas industry is in the country is traced to the global recovery from the COVID-19 and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
He said: “While the average international price for Brent crude oil has slightly changed above the set benchmark price since January, Nigeria’s daily oil production has performed poorly due to a number of reasons.
“It is common knowledge that investment in the oil and gas sector has declined in the past few years, owing to global financing constraints and the overall response to energy transition considerations. “However, we must agree that the greatest challenge to optimizing crude oil production in Nigeria is the grand scale oil theft that has plagued the sector for the past 2 decades.”
According to Abbas, the House have an idea of the several efforts by the previous administration to address the menace of the oil theft with the number of special committee task forces and investigative panels put together in the past with lots of findings and recommendations by each.
He said: “NEITI provides yearly updates on the amount of crude oil stolen or lost through sabotage. Yet, the menace of oil theft has continued unabated despite the enormous resources already committed to addressing it.”
In his speech, chairman of the committee, Alhassa Usman Rumrum, said the volume of losses caused by oil theft in the country and its related impact on the economy were totally unacceptable and could not be tolerated by any government that sincerely loved its citizens.
He said: “The manner this act of sabotage and breach on our national security and sovereignty is carried out daily makes a caricature of our pride as a nation and even a mockery of the acclaimed status of our armed forces.
“It is an affront to government and its institutions which must be tackled without further delay.
It is in the light of these that the House constituted this committee and is determined to bring this ugly trend to an end, otherwise there may be no future for our remaining children who have not yet Japa to other countries in search of survival.
“To members of the armed forces/security agencies, all Nigerians in the various states, host communities and even in the diaspora who are involved in this practice, I challenge you all to have a rethink. We have no other country to call our own, let, therefore, not push this madness to a point of no return where we may find nowhere to run to.”
Rumrum said while commending the courageous steps taken by the President to build the country “These efforts will be in vain unless we make a resolute statement and send a powerful message through both words and actions, declaring that oil theft and all form of hydrocarbon unaccountability will not be tolerated under this administration.
“Only then can our people confidently and joyfully embrace a renewed sense of hope and purpose.”
Also speaking, a representative of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr Alabi Abiodun, said the police had put in place a task force to assist other security agencies in arresting those attacking oil facilities.
The representative of Police Force, Mr. Alabi Abiodun address the ill situation by saying the perpetration of the act should be handed over to the police to effectively punish them.