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Nigeria lost $3.5bn to crude theft in 2021, says CISLAC

Illegal refining

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), yesterday, said Nigeria lost about $3.5 billion revenue to crude oil theft in 2021.

The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a one-day design workshop on the roadmap towards fostering civil-security relationship in Nigeria.

Rafsanjani, represented by a member of his Board of Trustees Adesina Oke, noted that the figure represents 10% of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.

He said: “Recent findings suggest that the issue does need to be investigated further and more data gathered to inform firmer conclusions and better targeted policy recommendations.

“In 2021, Nigeria lost at least $3.5 billion revenue to crude oil theft, a figure that represents 10 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign reserves.

“Oil theft and pipeline vandalism threaten oil exploration and accruable revenue. In 2019, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced that it lost ₦159 billion to oil theft and pipeline vandalism.”

Rafsanjani also expressed concern over the involvement of military and other security agencies in oil theft.

He said: “Military and other security agencies’ involvement in oil theft remains a problem, with armed forces either turning a blind eye or actively profiting from the illegal oil trade throughout the process.

“There have been reports of soldiers protecting the “tapping points”, where crude oil is retrieved from illegally installed taps on the oil pipelines; and of armed forces personnel turning a blind eye to, or indeed protecting, illegal bush refineries; and of soldiers soliciting bribes in return for undisturbed passage for illegal oil transportations.”

Military and other security agencies’ involvement in oil theft remains a problem, with armed forces either turning a blind eye or actively profiting from the illegal oil trade throughout the process.

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