National Assembly Probe Crude Oil Theft, Raises Concerns

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The National Assembly is once again investigating the persistent problem of crude oil theft, a challenge that has not been effectively addressed in past probes. Despite promises from lawmakers, concerns linger about the effectiveness of these investigations in curbing the theft of valuable oil resources, which is causing significant financial losses for the nation.

In July and October 2023, both the Senate and the House of Representatives initiated investigations to tackle the threat posed by oil theft to the economy. However, the country’s oil production remained below the set quota for most of 2023, reaching 1.37 million barrels per day in November but still falling short of the 1.74 million bpd allocated by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries for the year.

Critics argue that these inquiries lack efficiency and transparency, leading to a decline in public confidence. Experts emphasize the need for a more serious and effective approach from the National Assembly to address crude oil theft. Proshare’s 2022 report revealed that up to 54 percent of actual gross oil revenue earned in the first half of 2021, totaling N1.03 trillion, was lost to oil thieves.

To improve fiscal revenue and mitigate economic challenges like inflation and unemployment, it is crucial to block revenue leakages caused by pipeline vandals and oil pirates.

Source: BUSINESS DAY

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