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Nigeria loses $6billion to oil theft yearly

By on March 29, 2013

National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), under the aegis of NUPENGASSAN lamented on Thursday that Nigeria is presently losing over $6 billion yearly to crude oil theft, and another N165 billion to theft of refined products.

The unions have, therefore, called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the passage of the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now before the National Assembly into law to curb the high rate of theft in the industry.

The oil workers at a press conference addressed by President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Oguns, at the PENGASSAN House in Lagos, also urged government to urgently address “the scandalous vandalisation of both crude oil and petroleum product pipelines.”

They insisted that despite the presence of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) to combat illegal bunkering and granting to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) the power to bear arms, pipeline vandalisation continues “not only unabated but also brazenly.”

“We call on Federal Government to expedite action on the immediate passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law to curb the high rate of theft because as the nation loses about $6 billion yearly to crude oil theft and another N165 billion to theft of refined products, it is a threat to our national security and our democracy as people who are making such humongous amount of money can destabilise both our democracy and our National security.

“By government’s own admission of losses of 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total crude oil production of about 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd), about 250bpd is stolen; this is almost two and a half times the total production of our neighbour, Ghana.”

As critical stakeholders, NUPENG and PENGASSAN demand that the National Assembly expedite action on the passage of the bill, the labour leaders said.

“We emphasised that the provision under the PIB granting the President powers for discretionary award of petroleum licences and leases should be expunged as it is a recipe for cronyism and corruption.

“It is imperative that the PIB builds on the modest efforts of NEITI and goes further to erase the ‘black hole’ perception of our oil and gas industry.

“To do this, the PIB must guarantee accountability and safeguard against bias by stipulating clear transparency rules,” the unionists claimed.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government reassured on Thursday that it would not remove oil subsidy “in the nearest future.”

Senior Special Assistant to the President (Public Affairs), Doyin Okupe, gave the assurance in a statement posted on his facebook.

He said: “Contrary to the speculation in the media and assumption by certain groups within the polity, we wish to state categorically that the removal of oil subsidy is not on the table of the Transformation Agenda of the President.

“The statement made by President Goodluck Jonathan at the recent Economic Summit held in Lagos was a frank, intellectual and well articulated contribution by the President to the discussion on the Nigerian economy at the said summit, and it was from an honest and sincere leadership perspective.”



[Daily Independent]

One Comment

  1. Nura

    March 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Corruption unlimited