The speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, on Thursday, said Nigeria lost N16.25 trillion to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.
The speaker said this while inaugurating the ad hoc committee to investigate crude oil theft and loss of revenue in Abuja.
Quoting data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr Abbas said Nigeria’s oil production declined from 2.51 million barrels per day in 2005 to 1.77 million in 2020.
He said, “NEITI reports also show that 619 million barrels of crude valued at $46 billion were stolen in the period 2009 to 2020.″
The speaker said the menace of crude oil theft had hampered the growth of the country’s oil production, with between five and 30 per cent of production lost daily.
He said critical agencies in the oil and gas sector, like the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, and Ministry of Petroleum Resources, among others, failed to honour the invitation.
Represented by the chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Al-Hassan Ado-Doguwa, the speaker said if decisive action was not taken to address the issue, the country may be thrown into a deeper fiscal crisis.
This, according to him, is due to dwindling revenue from the oil and gas sector.
He added that Nigeria had continually failed to meet its daily production quota set by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
According to him, recently, Nigeria’s OPEC quota was reduced from 1.742 million barrels per day to 1.38 million barrels per day.
“Yet, the country is still struggling to meet this quota as daily production output was 1.184 million barrels per day and 1.249 million barrels per day in May and June 2023, respectively.
“On average, current daily production output is a far cry from the budget assumption of 1.69 million per day. The implication is clearly manifest in the economic crisis that the country is facing,” he stated.
He said Nigeria had been facing a major fiscal crisis, adding that global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine had continued to cast a cloud of uncertainty on the oil and gas industry.
Al-hassa Runrum, the ad-hoc committee chairman, said the volume of losses occasioned by oil theft in the country and its associated economic impact was unacceptable.
He said this would not be tolerated by any government that sincerely loves its citizens.