Oil theft gulped $1.35 billion in first six months – Obaseki

The prevalence of oil theft in the Niger Delta region has proven to be a source of worry for Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who lamented the loss of 22 million barrels of crude in the first six months of the year, an estimation expected to cost nothing less than $1.35 billion.

The Details: This was the point of focus when the state Governor received a delegation of the National Executive Committee of the Pan Niger-Delta Forum at Government House, Benin City.

The Edo State Governor could not hide his concern as he pondered how crude oil could be stolen from the Niger Delta region despite the presence of highly armed security operatives in the region.

He was also concerned about the lack of development that has bedevilled the region despite the huge money allocated to it.

What is really worrisome for me, having chaired the NEC committee on stolen crude oil, is the extent of militarisation in our region. About 22 million barrels of crude oil cannot be accounted for in the first half of this year with an estimated cost of almost $1.35bn.

There is a need to use the region’s assets for economic growth to prevent people of the Niger Delta from being shortchanged and its resources used as slush funds.

Why this matters: Crude Oil theft in Nigeria is considered to be the illegal appropriation of crude or refined oil products from the pipelines of multinational oil companies. It is usually facilitated by extensive corruption between security forces, militia organizations, the local population, and oil company employees who use a variety of methods to steal oil from the multinational oil corporations that are stationed within the country.

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