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Report discloses cause of crude oil theft

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), received the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft/Losses in Nigeria report on Monday. The report attributes the cause of the crude oil racketeering to improper reporting of crude oil production, illegal refining, theft from wellheads, and diversion from sophisticated pipeline networks.

The panel included important players from the oil and gas industry and outside of it, including state governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), security agencies, regulatory agencies, international and indigenous oil companies, traditional institutions, host communities, and artisanal refiners, according to a statement signed by Mr. Zakari Usman, Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

In carrying out its duties, the panel received and reviewed numerous memoranda and reports on oil theft and losses, according to the statement.


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It says: “Despite the best efforts of the Armed Forces and other security agencies to stop the activities of the oil thieves, the panel during the assignment discovered several layers of involvement in the illegal theft of crude oil.

The panel noted that improper reporting of crude oil production, illegal refining, theft from wellheads, and diversion from a sophisticated pipeline network were all contributing factors to crude oil losses.

The panel blamed the losses on a weak industry-wide metering system and an ineffective security setup. Maj-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), the panel’s chairman, demanded prompt implementation of the report while presenting it. He also claimed that if the government followed the recommendations, oil theft and losses would be adequately addressed.

Monguno accepted the report and thanked the panel for staying on schedule and thoroughly covering the issues. Especially for the recommendations with short-term perspectives, he pledged that the government would study the report and see to their prompt implementation.

On December 6, 2022, the NSA established the investigative panel. It was given 10 weeks to complete the task and a detailed set of terms of reference to look into all facets of crude oil theft and loss in all of its manifestations. The panel got to work right away.


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