Nigeria loses 400,000 barrels daily to oil theft – Senate

Drums used for oil theft14 November 2013, Abuja – The Senate has disclosed that Nigeria loses 400,000 barrels daily to crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and related criminal vices in the country’s oil sector.

This was contained in yesterday’s passed report of the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation on the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

In detail, the Senate approved crude oil production of 2,3883mbpd, 25007mbpd and 2,5497mbpd for 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively for the 2014-2016 MTEF/FSP.

The upper chamber also adopted $76.50 per barrel as the benchmark price of crude oil.

“Oil theft came into prominence in 2012 with a daily loss of about 150,000bpd. By July 2013, the loss had risen to about 400,000bdp. Government needs to take some drastic steps to halt this development,” the Senate report read.

Meanwhile, prelude to President Goodluck Jonathan planned presentation of the 2014 national budget estimates on November 19, the Senate Wednesday passed the 2014-2016 MTEF/FSP with key opposition to the controversial Excess Crude Account (ECA) and crude oil benchmark among other key components of the annual budget planning documents.

LEADERSHIP reports that but for the intervention of Senate President David Mark, the 2014-2016 MTEF/FSP report submitted by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation faced imminent rejection at yesterday’s plenary going by the widespread rejection of the planning documents.

“The MTEF/FSP should not be passed because of unexplained questions and contradictions we (Senate) need to figure out.This is not the type of document that we (Senate) should pass without a studied look,” Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi stated, with support from Senators Ali Ndume and Olugbenga Kaka.

In wide-ranging debates, Senator Ita Enang said the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. Senator Kaka called for the scrapping of the Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in view of its “parallel” functions with existing government outfits.

– Leadership

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