19 May 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Federal Government said it is losing about $7billion annually to crude oil theft in Nigeria, at the rate of 180,000 barrels per day.
To stem the trend, which government claimed rose rapidly in the last 12 months because of the collusion of some foreign nationals , a new industry joint task force, JTF, has been set up to tackle the menace.
The task force comprises the Police and the Armed Forces, in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as well s multinationals and indigenous operators.
Announcing the move at a roundtable discussion on crude oil production and the state of the oil industry in Nigeria, in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the rising incidence of bunkering bordered on the security of the nation and the economy.
In terms of losses, she said, “the country is losing approximately 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily at this time. Of course, to the nation, if you look at the international cost for a barrel, it will be estimated at $7billion yearly.”