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Wednesday, 03 April 2013 00:00
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Nigeria loses $6b annually to crude oil theft

Mr Babatunde OgunThe Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) says the country loses six billion dollars annually to crude oil theft.

Mr Babatunde Ogun, PENGASSAN's President, made this known at a joint forum with the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Lagos last weekend. He said that Nigeria also lost N105 billion to theft of refined products.

“This is a threat to our national security and our democracy. If this kind of huge amount of money gets into the wrong hands, it can destabilise our democracy and national security,’’ Ogun said.

He blamed the incessant loss of billions of money on vandalism of crude oil and petroleum products’ pipeline and express regrets that security forces had been unable to arrest the unwholesome practise which led to fire disaster in Arepo and Ogun and the subsequent shut down of Nembe Creek Trunk line by Shell.

``An estimated 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil is stolen at Nembe Creek. Agip also suspended production in Bayelsa because 60 per cent of its production of about 90 barrels is stolen per day.’’

He said it was sad that no one had ever been caught or prosecuted even when the miscellaneous offence Act provides for life imprisonment for anyone who stole crude oil, petroleum product or vandalised pipelines.