28 October 2013, London – Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has alleged that foreigners were behind the massive crude oil theft that is threatening to cripple the nation’s economy.
According to her, the theft of Nigeria’s crude oil is being done in connivance with some syndicates outside Africa.
This, the minister said, robs the economy and dissuades investors, according to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman Tumini Green.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who made the disclosure while delivering the keynote address at the Powerlist 2014 in London, said: “Theft of this magnitude is not only highly technical, but it is also an international-level crime. It is aided and abetted by syndicates outside of Africa who are the patrons and merchant-partners of the oil thieves. This crime against Nigeria must be resisted, as we simultaneously deploy in-country resources to fight this menace’’.
Urging the global community to advocate strongly against crude oil theft, she further stated: “It perpetuates criminality, defrauds economies and discourages investment. This is a crime that threatens not only Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, but also threatens the security of the Gulf of Guinea and, by extension, threatens the global economic order.”
The minister said the grave phenomenon of oil theft and its global support system represent another face of terrorism, which has continued to remain a spoke the wheel of the nation’s high economic growth trajectory.”
In the paper titled: “The strengths and obligations of the African Diaspora”, the Petroleum Minister explained that the ugly episode of oil theft has continued to thwart efforts at sustained economic growth because the effect of the oil theft scourge reverberates across the entire spectrum of the Nigerian economy.
“The grave phenomenon of oil theft and its global support system represents another face of terrorism counteracting our efforts at sustaining the trajectory of our high-growth economy, the stability of our society, and the enhancement and wellbeing of our people,’’ Mrs. Alison-Madueke said.
She said efforts at combating the menace locally is made more complicated because of the international slant of the crime.
Despite the scourge of crude theft, Mrs. Alison-Madueke said Nigeria’s oil and gas industry had been placed on the path of growth and irreversible progress.
“The Nigerian Content Act, signed into law in 2010 by President Jonathan, vigorously advocates for indigenous participation, job creation and in-country capacity development and has nurtured leading edge indigenous companies capable of competing with the traditional multinationals. The very topical Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is a historic piece of legislation designed to effect extensive and much needed legal, regulatory, financial and environmental reform to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry,’’ she said.