Nigeria lost 42.25 million barrels of crude oil valued at 2.77 billion dollars to oil theft in 2019, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, said in its latest audit report.
The report on Oil and Gas was presented to the Media and Civil Society Organisations by George Abiye, Assistant Director, Oil and Gas, NEITI on Tuesday in Lagos.
The report showed Nigeria earned 34.22 billion dollars from the oil and gas sector in 2019, a 4.88 per cent increase over the 32.63 billion dollars realised in 2018.
The 2019 report covered 98 entities, including 88 oil and gas companies, nine government agencies and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Company.
It said the country could have earned more revenue if not for crude oil losses due to metering error, theft and sabotage in the year under review.
The report, however, noted that the loss was 11.03 (21 per cent) lower than that recorded in 2018, which was 53.28 million barrels.
According to the report, the losses were incurred by companies that conveyed crude volumes through pipelines that were easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report, therefore, recommended that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should ensure proper surveillance (land-based, and aerial satellite photography and geophones trenched pipelines).
It urged the NNPC to update its pipeline networks to mimimise vandalism and crude oil theft.
The report also advised the Federal Government to ensure the success of oil and gas industrial parks in the Niger Delta.
“This will ensure the development of oil and gas infrastructure in the oil producing states.
“It will create employment for the populace in the Niger Delta,” the report added.
Earlier in his remarks, Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary, NEITI, commended the National Assembly for the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) after several years of delay.
Orji advised the lawmakers to urgently harmonise the draft bill and present it for consideration and assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As soon as the PIB becomes law, NEITI and other stakeholders will be able to set a new agenda for the oil and gas industry.
“The PIB will increase transparency in the sector,” he said.
The executive secretary urged the media and CSOs to continue to support the agency in the actualisation of its mandate, adding that the 2020 NEITI report would be released in September.