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Oil Theft: EFCC Charges Oil Chiefs to Disincentivize Stealing of Nigerian Crude

Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, called major oil producing companies in Nigeria on Thursday, March 30, 2023, to discuss the introduction of advance cargo declaration on crude export as a measure to deter oil theft from Nigeria.

The head of the EFCC expressed confidence that advance cargo declaration of crude export with unique tracking not only will deter the theft of Nigerian crude at the export terminals but will also dissuade off takers who would be unwilling to accept such cargoes. The LCCI members who were on a courtesy visit to the commission were members of the Oil Producers Trade Section.

We discovered that theft occurs even at the terminals, so we need an advance cargo declaration for our crude oil exports. Regrettably, IOCs like yours resisted the idea that anything like that could possibly occur. But I think the EFCC has handled a case in which we were able to prove that the crude that was taken was different from the one that was released, and we keep asking ourselves, “What is going on?” Therefore, there must be a problem. And I assume you are aware of what advance cargo declaration entails; you must declare in advance what your cargo is carrying in order to receive the specific cargo tracking note for all of your exports.


If a shipment from Nigeria doesn’t have a tracking note, it shouldn’t be accepted, he said.

He recalled that the measure was one of the suggestions made by a committee that looked into the 2014 theft of Nigerian crude but was regrettably never carried out. He urged the oil chiefs to reconsider the advice because it might offer a solution to the problem of oil theft.

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He expressed regret over the complete shutdown of the Nigerian refineries, which had led to a void that illegal refiners were trying to fill by producing adulterated automotive gas oil. He pointed out that, had the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited refineries been operating even at 10% of capacity, it would have been easier to gauge demand pressures and the illegal refiner would have faced fewer challenges.

Bawa reassured IOCs that the Commission is committed to collaborating with all interested parties both inside and outside the nation to put an end to the problem of oil theft. We can’t do this alone, so we are constantly at the forefront of reaching out to stakeholders both inside and outside the nation to ensure that we share information and intelligence and that collectively we are taking it to the next level. We are always open, and collaboration is one of our core values here.

Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited and Chairman of OPTS, Mr. Rick Kennedy, stated earlier that they were at the EFCC to forge relationships and look for ways to reduce the menace of crude oil theft in the industry as well as its effects on the environment and the economy. “Since we believe that all of us are impacted by these sets of issues, we wanted to make those introductions, develop some relationships, and… seek some opportunities for collaboration. As business owners, it is very important to us to cooperate closely with the Nigerian government. We have seen improvements in the reduction of oil theft over the past few months, and we sincerely appreciate all of the efforts made in that regard, but the problem persists and undoubtedly has a significant impact in a number of ways, the official said.


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