Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser (NSA), has revealed that despite ongoing efforts to curb the issue, the country continues to lose 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day to both local and international thieves.
Ribadu confirmed this alarming situation during a recent inspection of oil and gas facilities in Owaza, Abia, and Odogwa, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers, where he led a presidential delegation.
He emphasized that the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals have had a severe negative impact on the nation’s economy and have contributed to the rising cost of living in the country.
“It’s regrettable that a small number of individuals are engaging in the theft of our collective resources, causing immense losses to the nation, communities, and our citizens. Despite their actions, Nigeria possesses the capability to produce 2 million barrels of crude oil daily, yet our current production is less than 1.6 million barrels due to the theft and sabotage of pipelines,” he stated.
Ribadu further elaborated that the operators of makeshift refineries typically siphon a small portion of crude oil when they breach the pipelines, while larger quantities of oil are spilled into the environment.
“The monetary value of 400,000 barrels of oil stands at around 4 million dollars each day, and when you extrapolate that over a year (365 days), the financial toll is staggering, amounting to billions of dollars. Given the current economic circumstances where the Naira’s value is dwindling due to reduced earnings, increased revenue from curbing oil theft would not only bolster our currency but have positive effects on various aspects including the cost of living,” he added.
Ribadu affirmed that the Bola Tinubu administration is deeply concerned about this issue and has initiated actionable steps to combat the problem. He lamented that the substantial investments made by the government to develop infrastructure for the collective benefit are being undermined by the actions of a few, with the environment also suffering as a consequence.
He called for a unified effort to combat oil theft and put an end to the long-standing attacks on the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure. Ribadu highlighted ongoing collaborations with security forces and personnel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to safeguard facilities and bring an end to the menace.
Accompanying Ribadu on this delegation were key figures including Minister of Defence Baduru Abubakar, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, Minister of State for Defence Bello Matawalle, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) Heineken Lokpobiri, and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Ekperipe Ekpo, along with senior management officials from the NNPCL and prominent security personnel. This move underscores the government’s commitment to addressing this critical issue