Nigeria at wits’ end as oil thieves overrun surveillance

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Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is facing a critical challenge in curbing crude oil theft, with sophisticated criminal networks surpassing existing surveillance measures. Despite efforts by security forces to confiscate boats and invest in pipeline surveillance, the country continues to lose billions of dollars annually to this long-standing problem.

Despite confiscations and arrests, no senior figures in the illegal trade have faced prosecution, allowing oil thieves to become more adept at evading detection. Tactics include sabotaging pipelines in blind spots and bribing officials for patrol route information, making it difficult for authorities to effectively combat the issue.

Mele Kyari, CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, expressed concern over the alarming level of illegal connections on oil pipelines, making it challenging to predict daily crude oil output.

Source: Business Day

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