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Osinbajo: Oil theft poses clear threat to national security

Osinbajo: Oil theft poses clear threat to national security
February 22
12:58 2023

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says oil theft and sabotage of oil assets pose a “clear and present danger” to the economy and national security.

Osinbajo spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a stakeholders conference on oil theft and losses in Nigeria.

He said the acts also have a negative effect on the revenue accrued to the federation and the business opportunities for oil and gas investors.

“All theft and sabotage of oil and gas assets are a clear and present danger to our economy and national security,” he said.


“Not only do they pose a serious threat to all exploration and our energy economy, they also impact negatively on what is accrued to the federation and the business prospects on investors in the oil and gas sector.”

If left unchecked, Osinbajo said, the menace will fuel crises that will paralyse the government and leave the country extremely vulnerable to shocks and other unexpected consequences.

He added that large-scale theft of crude oil undermines government efforts to optimise its intended vision.


“Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) put the audited figure of oil theft and losses at something in the order of 619.7 million barrels of crude oil daily,” he said.

“And this is valued at $46 billion or N16.25 trillion; and all of these losses occurred between 2010 and 2020.

“In addition, Nigeria lost about 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products from refineries, which were valued at over $1.4 billion at the rate of 140,000 barrels per day from 2009 to 2018.

“This is just an average, because there are peaks where we see losses between 200,000 to 400,000 barrels in a day.


“Institutional and personal reputations are at stake. I think that is the cardinal reason we are here. I employ us to exhaust decisions on this matter.”

He noted that once host communities, especially the individuals who are involved in oil theft, are sensitised on the importance of ensuring that legislation works to their benefit, the situation may improve.


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