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Relentless Loss: Nigeria’s Daily 400,000 Barrel Crude Oil Leak Persists, says National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser Malam Nuhu Ribadu has disclosed that despite considerable efforts to combat the issue, the nation continues to incur a daily loss of 400,000 barrels of crude oil, attributed to a combination of local and international theft. Ribadu, speaking during an inspection of oil and gas facilities at Owaza in Abia and Odogwa in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers, led a presidential delegation to evaluate the extent of the situation. He lamented that the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals have left a detrimental impact on the economy, playing a role in the escalating cost of living.Lamenting the situation, Ribadu expressed his dismay at the pilferage of common resources by a handful of individuals, which has led to staggering losses for both the nation and its people. In stark terms, he highlighted the shortfall in oil production, noting that while Nigeria’s capacity hovers at 2 million barrels per day, the current output struggles at 1.6 million barrels due to the scourge of theft and pipeline damage.The theft, Ribadu explained, occurs at both artisanal and larger scales. Smaller quantities are siphoned by operators of illicit refineries upon breaking pipelines, while significant volumes end up being released into the environment. He stressed the gravity of the loss, pointing out that the value of 400,000 barrels per day amounts to approximately 4 million dollars. This accumulates to a staggering figure, reaching into billions of dollars over the course of a year. He emphasized that Nigeria’s need for increased revenue is pressing, especially given the devaluation of the Naira, which can be mitigated by enhanced income streams.Malam Nuhu Ribadu made it clear that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is acutely concerned about this pressing issue and has undertaken actionable measures to address it. He lamented the unfortunate destruction of critical infrastructures, constructed for the collective welfare, by a small group of individuals. Moreover, he underlined the urgency of a unified effort to combat oil theft, advocating for an end to decades of damage inflicted on the country’s oil and gas assets.Efforts to curb the menace are underway through collaboration with security forces and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited. The mission of securing facilities and eradicating oil theft, in the words of Ribadu, reflects a determination to quell this “madness.” Joining Ribadu on this mission were a number of high-ranking officials, including the Minister of Defence Baduru Abubakar, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and others, all of whom form an integral part of this vital initiative.


Ademola Adeyemi

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